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"Coriolanus" (Anglais) Broché – 11 mars 1976

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Act 1 Scene 1 running scene 1

Enter a company of mutinous Citizens, with staves, clubs and other weapons

FIRST CITIZEN Before we proceed any further, hear me speak.

ALL Speak, speak.

FIRST CITIZEN You are all resolved rather to die than to famish?

ALL Resolved, resolved.

FIRST CITIZEN First, you know Caius Martius is chief enemy to the people.

ALL We know't, we know't.

FIRST CITIZEN Let us kill him, and we'll have corn at our own price. Is't a verdict?

ALL No more talking on't: let it be done: away, away.

SECOND CITIZEN One word, good citizens.

FIRST CITIZEN We are accounted poor citizens, the patricians good: what authority surfeits on would relieve us. If they would yield us but the superfluity while it were wholesome, we might guess they relieved us humanely: but they think we are too dear: the leanness that afflicts us, the object of our misery, is as an inventory to particularize their abundance: our sufferance is a gain to them. Let us revenge this with our pikes, ere we become rakes. For the gods know, I speak this in hunger for bread, not in thirst for revenge.

SECOND CITIZEN Would you proceed especially against Caius Martius?

ALL 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.

ALL Nay, but speak not maliciously.

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 to 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.

FIRST CITIZEN If I must not, I need not be barren of accusations: he hath faults, with surplus, to tire in repetition.

Shouts within

What shouts are these? The other side o'th'city is risen: why stay we prating here? To th'Capitol!

ALL Come, come.

FIRST CITIZEN Soft, who comes here?

Enter Menenius Agrippa

SECOND CITIZEN Worthy Menenius Agrippa, one that hath always loved the people.

FIRST CITIZEN He's one honest enough: would all the rest were so!

MENENIUS What work's, my countrymen, in hand? Where go you

With bats and clubs? The matter, speak, I pray you.

SECOND CITIZEN Our business is not unknown to th'senate: they have had inkling this fortnight what we intend to do, which now we'll show 'em in deeds. They say poor suitors have strong breaths: they shall know we have strong arms too.

MENENIUS Why, masters, my good friends, mine honest neighbours,

Will you undo yourselves?

SECOND CITIZEN We cannot, sir, we are undone already.

MENENIUS I tell you, friends, most charitable care

Have the patricians of you. For your wants,

Your suffering in this dearth, you may as well

Strike at the heaven with your staves as lift them

Against the Roman state, whose course will on

The way it takes, cracking ten thousand curbs

Of more strong link asunder than can ever

Appear in your impediment. For the dearth,

The gods, not the patricians, make it, and

Your knees to them, not arms, must help. Alack,

You are transported by calamity

Thither where more attends you, and you slander

The helms o'th'state, who care for you like fathers,

When you curse them as enemies.

SECOND CITIZEN Care for us? True, indeed, they ne'er cared for us yet. Suffer us to famish, and their store-houses crammed with grain: make edicts for usury, to support usurers: repeal daily any wholesome act established against the rich, and provide more piercing statutes daily, to chain up and restrain the poor. If the wars eat us not up, they will: and there's all the love they bear us.

MENENIUS Either you must

Confess yourselves wondrous malicious,

Or be accused of folly. I shall tell you

A pretty tale: it may be you have heard it,

But since it serves my purpose, I will venture

To stale't a little more.

SECOND CITIZEN Well, I'll hear it, sir: yet you must not think to fob off our disgrace with a tale: but, an't please you, deliver.

MENENIUS There was a time when all the body's members

Rebelled against the belly, thus accused it:

That only like a gulf it did remain

I'th'midst o'th'body, idle and unactive,

Still cupboarding the viand, never bearing

Like labour with the rest, where th'other instruments

Did see and hear, devise, instruct, walk, feel,

And, mutually participate, did minister

Unto the appetite and affection common

Of the whole body. The belly answered-

SECOND CITIZEN Well, sir, what answer made the belly?

MENENIUS Sir, I shall tell you: with a kind of smile,

Which ne'er came from the lungs, but even thus -

For look you, I may make the belly smile

As well as speak - it tauntingly replied

To th'discontented members, the mutinous parts

That envied his receipt: even so most fitly

As you malign our senators for that

They are not such as you.

SECOND CITIZEN Your belly's answer: what?

The kingly crownèd head, the vigilant eye,

The counsellor heart, the arm our soldier,

Our steed the leg, the tongue our trumpeter,

With other muniments and petty helps

In this our fabric, if that they-

MENENIUS What then?

Fore me, this fellow speaks! What then? What then?

SECOND CITIZEN Should by the cormorant belly be restrained,

Who is the sink o'th'body-

MENENIUS Well, what then?

SECOND CITIZEN The former agents, if they did complain,

What could the belly answer?

MENENIUS I will tell you,

If you'll bestow a small - of what you have little -

Patience awhile, you'st hear the belly's answer.

SECOND CITIZEN You're long about it.

MENENIUS Note me this, good friend:

Your most grave belly was deliberate,

Not rash like his accusers, and thus answered:

'True is it, my incorporate friends,' quoth he,

'That I receive the general food at first

Which you do live upon: and fit it is,

Because I am the storehouse and the shop

Of the whole body. But, if you do remember,

I send it through the rivers of your blood

Even to the court, the heart, to th'seat o'th'brain,

And through the cranks and offices of man,

The strongest nerves and small inferior veins

From me receive that natural competency

Whereby they live. And though that all at once' -

You, my good friends, this says the belly, mark me-

SECOND CITIZEN Ay, sir, well, well.

MENENIUS 'Though all at once cannot

See what I do deliver out to each,

Yet I can make my audit up, that all

From me do back receive the flour of all,

And leave me but the bran.' What say you to't?

SECOND CITIZEN It was an answer: how apply you this?

MENENIUS The senators of Rome are this good belly,

And you the mutinous members: for examine

Their counsels and their cares, digest things rightly

Touching the weal o'th'common, you shall find

No public benefit which you receive

But it proceeds or comes from them to you

And no way from yourselves. What do you think,

You, the great toe of this assembly?

SECOND CITIZEN I the great toe? Why the great toe?

MENENIUS For that, being one o'th'lowest, basest, poorest

Of this most wise rebellion, thou goest foremost:

Thou rascal, that art worst in blood to run,

Lead'st first to win some vantage.

But make you ready your stiff bats and clubs:

Rome and her rats are at the point of battle:

The one side must have bale.

Enter Caius Martius

Hail, noble Martius.

MARTIUS Thanks. What's the matter, you dissentious rogues,

That, rubbing the poor itch of your opinion,

Make yourselves scabs?

SECOND CITIZEN We have ever your good word.

MARTIUS He that will give good words to thee will flatter

Beneath abhorring. What would you have, you curs,

That like nor peace nor war? The one affrights you,

The other makes you proud. He that trusts to you,

Where he should find you lions, finds you hares:

Where foxes, geese: you are no surer, no,

Than is the coal of fire upon the ice,

Or hailstone in the sun. Your virtue is

To make him worthy whose offence subdues him

And curse that justice did it. Who deserves greatness

Deserves your hate, and your affections are

A sick man's appetite, who desires most that

Which would increase his evil. He that depends

Upon your favours swims with fins of lead,

And hews down oaks with rushes. Hang ye! Trust ye?

With every minute you do change a mind,

And call him noble that was now your hate,

Him vile that was your garland. What's the matter,

That in these several places of the city

You cry against the noble senate, who,

Under the gods, keep you in awe, which else

Would feed on one another?- What's their To Menenius


MENENIUS For corn at their own rates, whereof they say

The city is well stored.

MARTIUS Hang 'em! They say?

They'll sit by th'fire, and presume to know

What's done i'th'Capitol: who's like to rise,

Who thrives and who declines: side factions and give out

Conjectural marriages, making parties strong

And feebling such as stand not in their liking

Below their cobbled shoes. They say there's grain enough?

Would the nobility lay aside their ruth,

And let me use my sword, I'd make a quarry

With thousands of these quartered slaves, as high

As I could pick my lance.

MENENIUS Nay, these are almost thoroughly persuaded:

For though abundantly they lack discretion,

Yet are they passing cowardly. But I beseech you,

What says the other troop?

MARTIUS They are dissolved: hang 'em:

They said they were an-hungry, sighed forth proverbs

That hunger broke stone walls, that dogs must eat,

That meat was made for mouths, that the gods sent not

Corn for the rich men only: with these shreds

They vented their complainings, which being answered,

And a petition granted them, a strange one -

To break the heart of generosity,

And make bold power look pale - they threw their caps

As they would hang them on the horns o'th'moon,

Shouting their emulation.

MENENIUS What is granted them?

MARTIUS Five tribunes to defend their vulgar wisdoms,

Of their own choice. One's Junius Brutus,

Sicinius Velutus, and I know not. 'Sdeath,

The rabble should have first unroofed the city,

Ere so prevailed with me: it will in time

Win upon power and throw forth greater themes

For insurrection's arguing.

MENENIUS This is strange.

MARTIUS Go get you home, you fragments. To the Citizens

Enter a Messenger hastily

MESSENGER Where's Caius Martius?

MARTIUS Here: what's the matter?

MESSENGER The news is, sir, the Volsces are in arms.

MARTIUS I am glad on't: then we shall ha' means to vent

Our musty superfluity. See, our best elders.

Enter Sicinius Velutus, Junius Brutus, Cominius, Titus Lartius, with other Senators

FIRST SENATOR Martius, 'tis true that you have lately told us:

The Volsces are in arms.

MARTIUS They have a leader,

Tullus Aufidius, that will put you to't:

I sin in envying his nobility,

And were I anything but what I am,

I would wish me only he.

COMINIUS You have fought together!

MARTIUS Were half to half the world by th'ears and he

Upon my party, I'd revolt to make

Only my wars with him. He is a lion

That I am proud to hunt.

FIRST SENATOR Then, worthy Martius,

Attend upon Cominius to these wars.

COMINIUS It is your former promise. To Martius

MARTIUS Sir, it is,

And I am constant: Titus Lartius, thou

Shalt see me once more strike at Tullus' face.

What, art thou stiff? Stand'st out?

LARTIUS No, Caius Martius,

I'll lean upon one crutch and fight with t'other,

Ere stay behind this business.

MENENIUS O, true-bred!

FIRST SENATOR Your company to th'Capitol, where I know

Our greatest friends attend us.

LARTIUS Lead you on.- To Cominius

Follow Cominius, we must follow you, To Martius

Right worthy your priority.

COMINIUS Noble Martius.

FIRST SENATOR Hence to your homes, be gone. To the Citizens

MARTIUS Nay, let them follow:

The Volsces have much corn: take these rats thither

To gnaw their garners. Worshipful mutineers,

Your valour puts well forth: pray follow. Exeunt

Citizens steal away. Sicinius and Brutus remain

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.

SICINIUS Such a nature,

Tickled with good success, disdains the shadow

Which he treads on at noon: but I do wonder

His insolence can brook to be commanded

Under Cominius.

BRUTUS Fame, at the which he aims,

In whom already he's well graced, cannot

Better be held nor more attained than by

A place below the first: for what miscarries

Shall be the general's fault, though he perform

To th'utmost of a man, and giddy censure

Will then cry out of Martius 'O, if he

Had borne the business!'

SICINIUS Besides, if things go well,

Opinion that so sticks on Martius shall

Of his demerits rob Cominius.


Half all Cominius' honours are to Martius,

Though Martius earned them not: and all his faults

To Martius shall be honours, though indeed

In aught he merit not.

SICINIUS Let's hence, and hear

How the dispatch is made, and in what fashion,

More than his singularity, he goes

Upon this present action.

BRUTUS Let's along. Exeunt

[Act 1 Scene 2] running scene 2

Enter Tullus Aufidius with Senators of Corioles

FIRST SENATOR So, your opinion is, Aufidius,

That they of Rome are entered in our counsels

And know how we proceed.

AUFIDIUS Is it not yours?

Whatever have been thought on in this state,

That could be brought to bodily act ere Rome

Had circumvention? 'Tis not four days gone

Since I heard thence: these are the words: I think

I have the letter here: yes, here it is. He reads the letter

'They have pressed a power, but it is not known

Whether for east or west: the dearth is great,

The people mutinous: and it is rumoured,

Cominius, Martius your old enemy,

Who is of Rome worse hated than of you,

And Titus Lartius, a most valiant Roman,

These three lead on this preparation

Whither 'tis bent: most likely 'tis for you:

Consider of it.' --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

Revue de presse

“A remarkable edition, one that makes Shakespeare’s extraordinary accomplishment more vivid than ever.”—James Shapiro, professor, Columbia University, bestselling author of A Year in the Life of Shakespeare: 1599
“A feast of literary and historical information.”—The Wall Street Journal --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

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Amazon.com: 45 commentaires
9 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Missing pages 4 mai 2013
Par Ulla N. Evans - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche Achat vérifié
The copy I received in November is missing pages 74-98. It has two sets of pages 99-121. I waited until now to begin reading it and apparently cannot return the copy I have. Check your copy for the binding error as soon as you receive it. I am disappointed because I am about to see the play.
9 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Shakespeare's Last Tragedy: An Overlooked Gem!!! 24 mai 2006
Par STEPHEN PLETKO - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché

This play, written circa 1608, is the last of William Shakespeare's (1564 to 1616) eleven (some say ten) known tragedies. Even though it is known as a "Roman" or "political" play, serious readers will discover that it so much more. I found that it stayed with me long after I read it.

This play is set in ancient Rome. It is essentially the story of warrior Caius Marcius (later known as "Coriolanus") whose honor, pride, and sense of social rank dominates his life and interferes with his ability to function effectively when he's not on the battlefield.

One of the great attributes of this play is that it does not have many characters and thus is easy to follow. The major characters are as follows:

(1) Coriolanus (originally Caius Marcius): a valiant warrior and patrician (nobleman) with a non-overbearing wife. "A soldier to Cato's wish" and a modest hero who "hath deserved worthily of his country" but who lacks tact and refuses to placate "the mutable, rank-scented many."
(2) Volumnia: his overbearing mother. "In anger, Juno-like."
(3) Menenius Agrippa: "a humorous patrician" and an old and true friend of Coriolanus who is trusted by the plebeians (lower class)
(4) Titus Lartius and Cominius: fellow generals with Coriolanus.
(5) Sicinius and Brutus: tribunes (representatives of the plebeians) of the common people and Coriolanus' political enemies. "A pair of strange ones."
(6) Tullus Aufidius: general of Rome's enemies and rival in glory to Coriolanus.

This "Shakespeare PELican" book (published by Penguin in 1999) has some interesting material before the play proper. I found the introduction to the play especially informative.

I would recommend, in order to get the full impact of this play, to either see it on film (the BBC production is excellent) or to see it on the stage.

Finally, I cannot understand why this play has been overlooked as one of Shakespeare's great works. (It was, in fact, written during Shakespeare's greatest period, 1599 to 1608.) The story itself is interesting with many subtle themes. The only thing I can think of is that there are some terms that you must know to properly understand the play (such as patrician, plebeian, tribune, etc.). These terms can be easily looked up in a good dictionary.

In conclusion, this play, in my opinion, is an overlooked gem. This book published by Penguin is an excellent resource for students, teachers, theatre professionals, and anyone interested in discovering this great play!!

7 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Shakespeare's Greatest 4 juin 1998
Par psychephile - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Shakespeare's last and greatest tragedy, *Coriolanus* dramatizes the conflict between pride and envy--those two antagonists which were the favorite characters of ancient myth.
Coriolanus is a man of Virtue, when virtue meant 'manliness' not 'modest chastity.' Above all, he had the virtue of pursuing virtue, which he refused to compromise and which he refused to hide. In contrast, the aristocracy and the mob whom they serve despised Coriolanus precisely because he was good and refused to be otherwise.
*Coriolanus* is Shakespeare at the height of his powers, and the real tragedy is that this work is not better known.
6 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Shakespeare Meets Ayn Rand 21 janvier 2012
Par Bill Slocum - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Any Shakespeare play that leaves people with totally different interpretations regarding the nature of the lead character can't be all bad. That said, "Coriolanus" suffers from its ambiguity.

The first time I read it was in college. My kindly professor laid out the case for seeing Coriolanus as a kind of fascist strongman brought down by his contempt for the people, and I went away comforted in my small-L liberalism. This time, however, reading it on my own, it was hard not to see Coriolanus as something else entirely, a deserving elitist brought down by an envious, parasitic mobocracy who couldn't bear to see him succeed. In short, John Galt in a toga.

A more disturbing realization with this second reading was that as a play, "Coriolanus" doesn't hold together. It's considered likely to be Shakespeare's last tragedy, written in 1608-09, but lacks for the vitality or singular inspiration you expect from the seasoned tragedian of "MacBeth" or "King Lear."

It has a fantastic first act as I read it, brimming with great dialogue, highly charged scenes, and a well-extended battle sequence. Act I also sets up the core issue of the rest of the play. "He that trusts to you,/Where he should find you lions, finds you hares/Where foxes, geese," is how the bold patrician Marcius puts it to the rabble rousers at the play's start. "He that depends/Upon your favors swims on fins of lead/And hews down oaks with rushes."

Marcius will later be renamed Coriolanus, after conquering the city Corioles. Rome proves more of a problem, where he's rejected by an easily-led and ungrateful mob. They have a point about Marcius' coldness when it comes to their need for corn, but he's not a dangerous character. Yes, he's more than a trifle haughty and dominated by a glory-hungry mother with vicious tendencies, but he is no threat to their young republic. He prefers to fight and leave the power trappings to others. He even declines booty he took from an enemy city.

Coriolanus being neither villain nor sympathetic hero is a problem with the play. So is the cast around him. There are two types of characters in "Coriolanus": his loyal but impotent patrician friends and the weaselly plebs who oppose him for largely obscure reasons. The characters lack depth, even Coriolanus's mother who goes from diabolic to dishwater in a few scenes.

The last four acts mix affecting scenes and great lines with a very choppy storyline. Coriolanus is always turning on a dime. Coriolanus vows not to wear humble robes in order to appeal to public favor, then does. He promises not to lose his temper in a key moment, and then does anyway with gusto. He tells his mother to go away one moment, and the next kneels before her. Coriolanus famously offers fewer soliloquies than any of Shakespeare's tragic heroes, perhaps because he doesn't have an inner self worth knowing.

I liked this play more as a Shakespeare buff. It's the flip side of his "Richard II." Richard II fatally overplays his sense of divine right as his subjects prove better than he deserves. Here, the title character is deserving but undone by common men who act in uniformly baser ways. The yin-yang idea of noblesse oblige in Shakespeare's day seems on display in these plays when considered together, presenting a kind of cultural bubble level that tilts depending on the angle of the viewer.

On its own, "Coriolanus" is occasionally gripping but ultimately frustrating reading, in need of an inspired director with a properly skewed take to give it the cohesion on stage it lacks on the page.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Incredible Characters of a "Lesser-Known" Masterpiece ... 23 août 1998
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Cassette
"Thy valientness is mine. Thou suckest it from me." That would be Volumnia's (Coriolanus' mother) quote -- and one of my favorites. "Coriolanus" is an intriguing story and the characters are marvelous. I have yet to see a better portrayal of a suffocating mother. Volumnia will live in my heart forever.
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