Study Guide

Coriolanus Act 4, Scene 5

By William Shakespeare

Act 4, Scene 5

Read the full text of Coriolanus Act 4 Scene 5 with a side-by-side translation HERE.

  • Coriolanus shows up at Aufidius' house, where a big, swanky party is in full swing, except this is ancient Rome so we have to call the party a "feast."
  • Because Coriolanus is dressed like a homeless guy, a bunch of Aufidius' servants tries to kick him to the curb.
  • After a minor scuffle, Aufidius comes over and demands to know who this guy thinks he is.
  • Coriolanus acts coy at first but finally says something like "It's me, Coriolanus, the guy who totally stomped on you and your people! Don't you recognize me? I've come here to make nice so we can destroy Rome together. Isn't that awesome?"
  • Aufidius' response?
  • He gives his former enemy a big, enthusiastic hug and says that he's more excited about seeing Coriolanus than he was about seeing his new bride on his wedding night.
  • Sure. Okay. We can see how the sight of one's mortal enemy could be more thrilling than a honeymoon.
  • Aufidius gushes to Coriolanus that he's been dreaming about their battlefield "encounters" on a nightly basis. (Go to "Steaminess Rating" if you want the 411 on all this homoerotic military talk that keeps popping up in the play.)
  • Now that Coriolanus is his new bestie, Aufidius takes him into the party to introduce him to a bunch of other Volscian soldiers.
  • The Servants stand around gossiping about Coriolanus. They generally agree on his awesomeness and decide that he's the "rarest man i'the world." (Even though two seconds ago they thought he was a bum.)
  • Another Servant shows up and announces that yet another war with Rome is in the works, which causes some excitement among the other servants.
  • Then there's some weird talk about the pros and cons of warfare. The Servants declare that war is awesome and that peace is for chumps and wimps.