Study Guide

Coriolanus Act 5, Scene 4

By William Shakespeare

Act 5, Scene 4

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

  • Back in Rome, poor old Menenius arrives with news that Coriolanus refuses to show mercy to his native city. He doesn't think Coriolanus' mom will have any luck changing his mind either.
  • Sicinius and Brutus are worried sick, naturally.
  • Menenius says there's no more "mercy" in Coriolanus "than there is milk in a male tiger."
  • Just then, a Messenger rushes in with news that the plebeians have taken one of the tribunes hostage and are threatening to kill the guy if Coriolanus storms the city.
  • Then a second Messenger runs in with news that Coriolanus' family has convinced him to chill out. Looks like he won't be destroying the city after all.
  • The good news has spread fast. People start celebrating in the streets almost immediately.