Study Guide

Coriolanus Act 3, Scene 2

By William Shakespeare

Act 3, Scene 2

Read the full text of Coriolanus Act 3 Scene 2 with a side-by-side translation HERE.

  • At Coriolanus' house, our hero is all worked up because the pesky mob of plebeians just tried to kill him.
  • He says he'd rather be tortured and killed than apologize to them.
  • Next he blames his mom, Volumnia, for all his problems. (Seems solid to us.) He says it was her idea for him to act like a phony politician in the first place.
  • But Volumnia's not having it. She chews him out for being a giant political failure.
  • Menenius rushes in and begs Coriolanus to go back and apologize to the people.
  • Then mom chimes in that Coriolanus needs to go to the people and tell them what they want to hear—i.e. that he's sorry and didn't mean what he said, even if, you know, he doesn't really mean it.
  • Coriolanus waffles but then finally agrees to do it and tells everyone he's not happy about it.