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Coriolanus

Coriolanus

  

by William Shakespeare

Coriolanus Pride Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line)

Quote #1

SECOND CITIZEN
Would you proceed especially against
Caius Martius?
FIRST CITIZEN
Against him first. He's a very dog to the
commonalty.
SECOND CITIZEN
Consider you what services he has
done for his country?
FIRST CITIZEN
Very well, and could be content to give
him good report for 't, but that he pays himself
with being proud. (1.1.25-33)

This is the first time we hear the plebeians accuse Coriolanus of being too "proud." According to the plebs, Coriolanus is the commoners' biggest enemy, despite his military service to Rome. But … why? Just because he's proud? Are they just annoyed that he's walking around with a big head, or has he actually done something to hurt them?

Quote #2

FIRST CITIZEN
I say unto you, what he hath done
famously, he did it to that end. Though soft-conscienced
men can be content to say it was for
his country, he did it to please his mother and to be
partly proud, which he is, even till the altitude of
his virtue.
SECOND CITIZEN
What he cannot help in his nature you
account a vice in him. You must in no way say he
is covetous. (1.1.35-43)

Okay, this is interesting, don't you think. The First Citizen thinks that Coriolanus has been Rome's biggest military champion "partly" because he's so proud and partly because he wants to "please his mother." In other words, he's not just a one-dimensional figure who's simply got too much "pride." His character and behavior are shaped by all kinds of circumstances, including family relationships. In other other words—Rome's military leaders: they're just like us!

Quote #3

SICINIUS
Was ever man so proud as is this Martius?
BRUTUS
He has no equal.
SICINIUS
When we were chosen tribunes for the people—
BRUTUS
Marked you his lip and eyes?
SICINIUS
Nay, but his taunts.
BRUTUS
Being moved, he will not spare to gird the gods—
SICINIUS
Bemock the modest moon.
BRUTUS
The present wars devour him! He is grown
Too proud to be so valiant. (1.1.287-295)

This is where our two scheming tribunes accuse Coriolanus of excessive pride and begin to plot his destruction. Here's the thing, Shmoopers. We can't always trust what these two tribunes have to say because their hatred of Coriolanus is also motivated by their political aspirations. Sicinius and Brutus see Coriolanus as a threat because they know he wants to take away all their power. Jealous, much?

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