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ALL SCRIPTS


 
                         

                         

                         

                                 CORIOLANUS

                         


                                 Written by

                            William Shakespeare




                              Screenplay by

                               John Logan
                         

                         

                         

                         

          INT. DARKENED ROOM - DAY

          The blade of a knife.

          Pulled from its sheath, intricate tribal etchings on the
          blade catching the light.

          The blade being pulled across a sharpening stone. Swoosh-
          swoosh-swoosh. Rhythmic. A well-practiced hand. A muscular,
          tattooed arm.

          The blade held up. Razor sharp. The glow of a TV in the
          darkened room is the only illumination.
          We see images on the TV:

          GLOBAL AND URBAN STRIFE slums barricades poverty
          starvation demonstrations repression refugee
          camps barbed wire prisons riot police tear gas
          violence...

          Then the images settle to now, BREAKING NEWS:
          FOOD RIOTS IN ROME. Images of a protest march. A crowd
          filling the streets. Soldiers moving into position. We see
          placards: "DOGS MUST EAT," "MEAT WAS MADE FOR MOUTHS."
          The man sharpening the knife watches the images. His eyes are
          cold. Almost disinterested.

          Then he stops.
          Frozen in mid-stroke.
          Something on the TV suddenly rivets him.
          His eyes no longer cold.

          The TV shows one of the soldiers, a high-ranking officer.
          Imperious. Giving orders. We will come to know this is a man
          as Caius Martius -- Coriolanus.

          TULLUS AUFIDIUS, the man sharpening the knife, gazes at the
          image on the screen.

          He leans forward. Emerging from the darkness. We see his
          face.

          He is a handsome and imposing figure, magnetic in his
          personality. Charismatic, yes, but also neurotic and edgy.
          Uncomfortable in his own skin. Some demons there.
          He watches the face of Caius Martius on the TV screen.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          2.
          Then he puts the point of his knife against the screen.
          Against Caius Martius' heart.
          Holds it there Presses the point against the screen
          Muscles knotting in his forearm As if he could thrust the
          knife through the screen and into the heart of Caius
          Martius...
          His nemesis His dark angel.
          Sharp cut to--

          EXT. ROME - STREET - DAY

          We move with an intense woman down the street. She is
          nervous. Checks she is not being followed.
          She is TAMORA, an extreme figure on the political landscape.
          To the Roman elite she is a dangerous anarchist -- to her
          supporters she is an ardent patriot and democrat.
          As she moves, we take in Rome.
          It might be Mexico City. Or Chechnia. Or El Salvador. Or
          Detroit. Or Baghdad. Or London.
          This Rome is a modern place. It is our world right now:
          immediately recognizable to us. Elements of classical
          architecture loom over decay. Monolithic modernism and brave
          public monuments are lost in a sea of brazen advertising
          billboards, neon shopping plazas and drab super-highways.
          Splendor and squalor sit side-by-side.
          It is a volatile, dangerous world.
          William Shakespeare's Rome.
          She comes to a graffiti-covered apartment building. Looks
          around. Enters.

          INT. APARTMENT - DAY

          A secret political meeting in a police state.
          Tension. Cigarette smoke hangs in the air. Men and women
          gathered, hushed and urgent tones. A cell meeting of the
          political opposition, the resistance.
          A TV shows the food marches elsewhere in the city. The
          gathering storm.
          CASSIUS is a leading proletariat organizer:

                         

                         

                         

                         

          3.

                         CASSIUS
          Before we proceed any further, hear me
          speak -- You are all resolved rather to
          die than to famish?
          The others agree. They are not wild-eyed radicals. They are
          normal people, from all walks of life. You and me.

                         CASSIUS
          First, you know Caius Martius is chief
          enemy to the people.
          A voice from the back of the room:

                         TAMORA
          Let us kill him.
          The others turn. Tamora, just entering, pulls off her coat,
          joins the others:

                         TAMORA
          And we'll have corn at our own price. Is
          it a verdict?
          Some are unsure. She is too extreme for some.

                         CASSIUS

                         (PRESSING SLIGHTLY)
          We are accounted poor citizens, the
          patricians good The leanness that
          afflicts us, the object of our misery,
          our sufferance, is a gain to them. Let us
          revenge this with our sticks ere we
          become rakes! I speak this in hunger
          for bread, not in thirst for revenge.
          A woman, a YOUNG MOTHER, protests:

                         YOUNG MOTHER
          Will you proceed especially against Caius
          Martius?

                         CASSIUS
          Against him first.
          A COLLEGE PROFESSOR, speaks up:

                         COLLEGE PROFESSOR
          Consider you what services he has done
          for his country?

                         TAMORA

                         (SNAPS)
          Very well, and could be content to give

                         (MORE)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          4.

                         TAMORA (CONT'D)
          him good report for it -- but that he
          pays himself with being proud.

                         COLLEGE PROFESSOR
          Nay, but speak not maliciously.
          She has over-played her hand. Pretends to back down:

                         TAMORA
          I say unto you, what he hath done
          famously, he did it to that end...
          (a snarky smile)
          He did it to please his mother.
          Some laugh at her gossip.
          Then the TV image switches to a BREAKING NEWS update:
          From the Roman Senate. An august press room. A Senator is
          moving to a podium to make a statement.
          He is Senator MENENIUS is a seasoned and wily politician.
          Silver hair, perfectly tailored suit. He is known as a folksy
          "man of the people." It is a role he plays to perfection.

                         CASSIUS
          Soft, who comes here?

                         COLLEGE PROFESSOR
          Worthy Senator Menenius, one that hath
          always loved the people.

                         TAMORA
          He's one honest enough; would all the
          rest were so.

                         MENENIUS

                         (ON TV)
          Why, masters, my good friends, mine
          honest neighbors,
          Will you undo yourselves?

                         (SMILES BENEVOLENTLY)
          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 heavens with your staves as

                         LIFT THEM
          Against the Roman state--

                         

                         

                         

                         

          5.

                         TAMORA
          (speaking to the TV)
          Suffer us to famish, and their
          storehouses crammed with grain--
          The others shush her.

                         MENENIUS

                         (ON TV)
          Alack, you are transported by calamity
          Thither where more attends you; and you

                         SLANDER
          The helms of the state, who care for you
          like fathers,
          When you curse them as enemies--
          Cassius mutes the TV. We see Senator Menenius continuing with
          his speech; his attempt to calm the dangerous situation.

                         CASSIUS
          Care for us? They never cared for us yet!

                         TAMORA
          If the wars eat us not up, they will: and
          that's all the love they bear us.
          The others are growing increasingly restive -- shifting --

                         TENSION BUILDING--

                         CASSIUS
          Why stay we prating here?

                         TAMORA
          No more talking on it!
          To the Capitol! Come! Come!

                         CUT TO--

          EXT. STREETS - DAY

          Tamora, Cassius and the others are now in the midst of the
          protest march. The crowd has become a mob, with a life and
          will of its own. The crowd surges forward--
          They round a corner and suddenly stop--
          For a formidable sight awaits them-

          RIOT POLICE.
          Rows of black uniforms. Full riot gear with plexiglass
          shields and dangerous truncheons.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          6.
          A few soldiers on horses as well.
          The crowd starts and shifts nervously, unsure how to proceed.
          Should they launch themselves against this monolithic
          military force?
          A long, tense beat.
          Then...
          One of the horsemen trots forward...
          He rides a beautiful white horse...
          It is CAIUS MARTIUS. (Soon to be given the honorary title
          Coriolanus.) He is intense and patrician. Uncompromising. A
          man of steel. A soldier. He wears a crisp, military uniform.
          From his position on the horse, Martius looks over the
          rioters...
          His gaze is ice...
          A long beat...
          Then he dismounts...
          He slowly walks to the unruly mob...
          With no hesitation, unarmed...
          He stops before them...
          And speaks with absolute disdain.

                         MARTIUS
          What's the matter, you dissentious
          rogues,
          That, rubbing the poor itch of your
          opinion,
          Make yourselves scabs?

                         CASSIUS

                         (SARCASTIC)
          We have ever your good word.

                         MARTIUS

                         (SNAPS)
          He that will give good words to thee will

                         FLATTER
          Beneath abhorring.
          The crowd is hushed. Taking in his every word.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          7.
          We note a TV news crew has moved into position and is filming
          eagerly. Some in the crowd film with cell phone cameras.
          Streaming video. We intercut some of these perspectives.

                         MARTIUS
          What would you have, you curs?
          He that trusts to you,
          Where he should find you lions, finds you

                         HARES;
          Where foxes, geese.
          He walks along the front of the crowd. Some are frightened by
          the great Martius. Some are even awed. Others glare at him
          with loathing.

                         MARTIUS
          Who deserves greatness
          Deserves your hate...
          Hang ye! Trust ye?
          With every minute you do change your
          mind,
          And call him noble that was now your
          hate,
          Him vile that was your garland.
          He continues along the crowd, his cold eyes taking in face

                         AFTER FACE:

                         MARTIUS
          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?
          He stops and glares at the mob with seething anger.
          He climbs back onto his horse. Stares down at them.

                         AN ULTIMATUM:

                         MARTIUS
          Go GET YOU HOME, YOU FRAGMENTS!
          A tense beat.
          The riot police shift nervously.
          The crowd is unsure.
          The TV news crew films everything.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          8.
          Cassius looks around. He sees the police ready with tear gas.
          He sees old men, women and children in his crowd. He doesn't
          want this to explode.
          He exchanges a few whispers works with Tamora. Word is passed
          and the crowd begins to disperse. Some run off in a panic.
          Others walk away.
          The danger has passed.
          Senator Menenius, who has been watching from nearby, gestures
          for Martius to join him. He is an old family friend of
          Martius' as well as his mentor and chief political advisor.
          Menenius is relieved bloodshed has been avoided.

                         MENENIUS
          These are almost thoroughly persuaded;
          For though abundantly they lack
          discretion,
          Yet are they passing cowardly.

                         MARTIUS
          They are dissolved. Hang 'em.
          Senator Menenius watches the crowd. Disturbed.

                         MENENIUS
          I would they were abed.

                         MARTIUS
          I would they were in Tiber.
          They move off.

          INT. DARKENED ROOM - DAY

          We see the TV image of Martius railing at the people from

                         BEFORE:

                         MARTIUS

                         (ON TV)
          Go GET YOU HOME, YOU FRAGMENTS!
          Tullus Aufidius is leaning in. Watching so closely.
          From his POV: the pixilated close-up of Martius' face on the
          screen.
          He runs his knife blade back and forth. Turns it in the
          light; the reflection of Martius' face distorting as he
          rotates the blade.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          9.
          Then Aufidius leans back again.
          Back into the shadows. Disappearing.

          EXT. MILITARY COMMAND CENTER - DAY

          Rome's military headquarters. A high security building like
          the Pentagon.

          INT. ROMAN WAR ROOM - DAY

          Martius is seated with several MILITARY OFFICERS and AIDES.
          Also with him is TITUS. He younger than Martius, an old
          friend and comrade-in-arms. Like Martius he has seen a lot of
          battle.
          COMINIUS, an older general, enters. He is an experienced
          commander of men also used to dealing with the necessary
          politics of civilian oversight. West Point bearing.
          All salute. Cominius returns the salute.

                         COMINIUS
          The news is the Volsces are in arms.
          An aide presses a remote. Grainy video images play on a
          monitor: Volscian soldiers, jeeps, tanks.
          One section shows a quick image of the rebel leader, a
          striking man called Tullus Aufidius, riding past in a jeep.

                         COMINIUS
          They have a leader,
          Tullus Aufidius, that will put you to it.

                         MARTIUS
          I sin in envying his nobility,
          And were I any thing but what I am,
          I would wish me only he.

                         SENATOR
          You have fought together?

                         MARTIUS
          He is a lion
          That I am proud to hunt.
          Martius takes the remote control. Stops the video. Rewinds to
          the unclear image of Aufidius.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          10.

                         MARTIUS
          Titus Lartius, thou
          Shalt see me once more strike at Tullus'
          face.

                         TITUS
          Lead you on.
          Martius rewinds and plays the image of Aufidius again,
          rewinds and plays it again, almost obsessively.
          We push in on the video image of Aufidius...
          Aufidius appears to be staring right back at Martius...
          And this takes us to...

          INT. APARTMENT BUILDING-WAR ROOM - NIGHT

          The same face.
          Aufidius, who is the leader of the rebel Volscian forces,
          stands deep in thought.
          The Volsces are an insurgent force challenging the monolithic
          might of Rome: rebels that suggest to us Latin American
          revolutionaries or Hamas fighters or Chechnian separatists.
          They are a dangerous guerilla force.
          We are in the Volsce war room in an old apartment building. A
          basement. No windows. Secure.
          OFFICERS and some civilian POLITICIANS. The room is filled
          with military maps, weapons, surveillance photos.

                         VOLSCE POLITICIAN
          So, your opinion is, Aufidius,
          That they of Rome are entered in our

                         COUNSELS
          And know how we proceed.

                         AUFIDIUS

                         (SNAPS)
          Is it not yours?
          Tis not four days gone since I heard
          thence.

                         VOLSCE OFFICER
          We never yet made doubt but Rome was

                         READY
          To answer us.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          11.

                         VOLSCE POLITICIAN
          And it is rumored Martius, your old
          enemy, leads in their preparation.
          He tosses a glossy magazine on the desk, a picture of Martius
          on the cover.
          Aufidius' eyes spark at the image of Martius.
          He picks up the magazine and carefully tears off the cover
          picture of Martius, looking at the picture deeply.
          He continues with a strange and grim fire:

                         AUFIDIUS
          If we and Caius Martius chance to meet,
          'Tis sworn between us we shall ever

                         STRIKE
          Till one can do no more.
          By the elements,
          If ever again I meet him beard to beard,
          He's mine or I am his.

          EXT. MARTIUS VILLA - DAY

          A beautiful butterfly. Catching the light perfectly, almost
          iridescent.
          It floats before a palatial mansion in the suburbs of the
          great city. Manicured lawns. Formal gardens. Classical
          architectural lines.
          This fine home of aristocratic privilege seems a world away
          from the urban blight of Rome.
          In the immaculate front gardens YOUNG MARTIUS, Martius' son,
          is playing. The boy is about ten. There is something grim and
          lonely about him, without charm.
          Young Martius chases after the butterfly, trying to catch it.
          He fails. The butterfly flits away. Young Martius leaps after
          it. Again he misses.
          Finally the frustrated boy manages to catch the butterfly. In
          his rage he tears it to pieces, brutally shredding it.
          We realize he is being observed...

          INT. MARTIUS VILLA -- LIVING ROOM - DAY

          . VIRGILIA, Martius' wife, stands at the window. Disturbed
          by the sight of her son ripping apart the butterfly.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          12.
          She sees Young Martius stop and look at the tiny bit of blood
          on his fingers. Young Martius is unmoved. He glances up.
          Locks eyes with his mother.
          She turns away.
          Virgilia was well-chosen for her role as wife to one of
          Rome's most aristocratic men. She is beautiful and graceful
          but -- like Diana thrown into lion's den of the Windsor
          family -- woefully out of her depth. We feel an inner
          fragility to her.
          The room is spacious and elegantly appointed. A lovely Roman
          statue in one corner. This is a place of wealth, order and
          control.
          A fine flat-screen TV flickers with images of war. We see
           helicopters zooming over desert landscape Imbedded war
          correspondents Tanks Combat Romans . Volscians.
          VOLUMNIA, Martius' mother, stands and watches the TV. She is
          an imposing woman, handsome and tall, impeccably dressed.
          Adamantine in her strength.
          Virgilia moves from the window. Sits on a sofa. She watches
          the TV news footage of the war, upset by the images.
          A frozen silence.

                         THEN:

                         VOLUMNIA
          I pray you, daughter, sing, or express
          yourself in a more comfortable sort. If
          my son were my husband, I should more
          freely rejoice in that absence wherein he
          won honor than in the embracements of his
          bed where he would show most love.
          She moves across the room to fetch a cigarette. She moves,
          always, with stately grace.
          She walks past a series of photographs. They tell the story
          of Martius' life: the happy baby; the stern dead father; the
          rigid young military cadet; the formal wedding; the
          restrained and unsmiling adult.
          In the photos we sense a transformation: innocent boy to
          experienced, severe looking soldier. Volumnia is present in
          most of the pictures.

                         AS:

                         

                         

                         

                         

          13.

                         VOLUMNIA
          When yet he was but tender-bodied and the
          only son of my womb, I, considering how
          honor would become such a person, was
          pleased to let him seek danger where he
          was like to find fame.
          She lights her cigarette.

                         VOLUMNIA
          To a cruel war I sent him, from whence he
          returned, his brows bound with oak.

                         VIRGILIA
          But had he died in the business, madam,
          how then?

                         VOLUMNIA
          Then his good report should have been my
          son.
          (she rivets Virgilia)
          Had I a dozen sons I had rather have
          eleven die nobly for their country than
          one voluptuously surfeit out of action.
          A MAID enters. She speaks to Volumnia (the true mistress of
          the house) not to Virgilia.

                         MAID
          Madam, Senator Menenius is come to visit
          you.

                         VOLUMNIA
          Tell Menenius we are fit to bid him
          welcome.
          The Maid goes.

                         VIRGILIA
          Beseech you, give me leave to retire
          myself.

                         VOLUMNIA
          Indeed, you shall not!
          She turns off the TV and goes to a bar to mix drinks. She
          mixes the drinks aggressively, strangely inspired by the
          discussion of war:

                         VOLUMNIA
          Methinks I hear hither your husband's

                         DRUM;
          Methinks I see him stamp thus, and call

                         THUS:

                         (MORE)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          14.

                         VOLUMNIA (CONT'D)
          "Come on, you cowards! You were got in
          fear,
          Though you were born in Rome." His bloody

                         BROW
          Then wiping, forth he goes.

                         VIRGILIA
          His bloody brow? 0 Jupiter, no blood...

                         VOLUMNIA
          Away, you fool! It more becomes a man
          Than gold his trophy.

                         VIRGILIA
          Heavens bless my lord from fell
          Auf idius ...

                         VOLUMNIA
          He'll beat Aufidius' head below his knee
          And tread upon his neck.
          Senator Menenius enters, he is comfortable in this house and
          an old ally of Volumnia's.

                         MENENIUS
          My ladies both, good day to you.
          Volumnia hands him one of the drinks she has been mixing: a
          perfect martini. She knows how he takes his drink. She is not
          above flirting with him when it suits her ends.

                         MENENIUS
          How do you both?

                         (TO VIRGILIA)
          And how does your little son?

                         VIRGILIA
          I thank you, sir; well, good.

                         VOLUMNIA
          He had rather play with swords and hear a
          drum than look upon his schoolmaster.

                         MENENIUS
          On my word, the father's son!
          He and Volumnia laugh.
          Menenius has sensed Virgilia's tension. Tries to cheer her:

                         MENENIUS
          Come, I must have you play the idle
          housewife with me this afternoon.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          15.

                         VIRGILIA
          No, good sir, I will not out of doors.

                         MENENIUS
          Not out of doors!

                         VOLUMNIA
          She shall, she shall.

                         VIRGILIA
          Indeed, no, by your patience. I'll not
          over the threshold till my lord return
          from the wars.

                         MENENIUS
          Fie, you confine yourself most
          unreasonably.

                         VIRGILIA
          I cannot go hither.

                         MENENIUS

                         (PLAYFULLY)
          You would be another Penelope; yet they
          say all the yarn she spun in Ulysses'
          absence did but fill Ithaca full of
          moths.

                         VIRGILIA
          No, good sir, pardon me; indeed, I will
          not forth.

                         MENENIUS
          Go with me and I'll tell you excellent
          news of your husband.

                         VIRGILIA
          0, good sir, there can be none yet.

                         MENENIUS
          There came news from him last night.
          Volumnia pounces, moving in:

                         VOLUMNIA
          Indeed?

                         MENENIUS
          Your lord and Titus Lartius are set down
          before the Volscian city of Corioles.
          They nothing doubt prevailing and to make
          it brief wars This is true, on mine
          honor; and so, I pray, go out with us.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          16.

                         VIRGILIA

                         (AGAIN DECLINING)
          Give me excuse, good sir. I will obey you
          in everything hereafter.

                         VOLUMNIA

                         (SNAPS)
          Let her alone. As she is now, she will
          but disease our better mirth.
          She takes Menenius arm and pulls him out, eager for more news
          of her son.
          Virgilia sits for a beat.
          Then she presses a button on the remote control. The TV goes
          on again. More news reports of the war.
          We see images of the Volscian town of Corioles. A "BREAKING
          NEWS" scroll runs across the bottom of the screen The
          Battle for Corioles
          Virgilia watches the war footage, her eyes haunted.
          Hard cut to--

          EXT. CORIOLES - DAY

          BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! A series of explosions jolt us.
          Corioles is a small urban center. Smoke billows up from areas
          of the city. The steady crack and rattle of gunfire. The
          occasional thud of explosions.
          We see urban street-to-street fighting. The images are
          startling in their familiarity: this could be Basra or
          Belfast.
          The battle is photographed in a gritty exposure. Color is
          drained out -- blood is a darker red like oil. Soldiers are
          dark forms moving through shadows and smoke.
          Martius and Titus, leading a platoon of around twenty Roman
          SOLDIERS, run into view and take cover. Bullets zip and snap
          around them.
          The Roman soldiers wear modern battle fatigues and body
          armor, tricked out with all the latest tech gear. The
          Volscians, being a poor guerilla force, wear thrown together
          uniforms that look almost tribal.
          Martius calls over the incessant din of battle to Titus and

                         THE SOLDIERS:

                         

                         

                         

                         

          17.

                         MARTIUS
          They fear us not, but issue forth their
          city.
          Sniper bullets slam into a wall near him. He coughs away the
          smoke and debris. This only makes him more angry:

                         MARTIUS
          They do disdain us much beyond our
          thoughts,
          Which makes me sweat with wrath!
          He that retires, I'll take him for a
          Volsce,
          And he shall feel mine edge!
          Martius leaps up and races on. The others follow in military
          order.
          The Roman soldiers move along the street -- it is chaotic --
          explosions, smoke and sniper fire -- they duck into doorways
          and behind abandoned cars -- returning fire as best they can--
          Martius leads -- firing stead bursts from his machine gun--
          It is slow and bloody going--
          Finally the Romans turn a corner and are stopped by a
          roadblock: a burning bus that fills the entire street--
          The Volsces use this roadblock to ambush the Roman soldiers--
          We see glimpses of Volscian soldiers darting for position --
          firing from rooftops and from inside shops--

                         BLISTERING CROSSFIRE--

          INT. BLASTED HOTEL ROOM - DAY

          Aufidius runs into a blasted hotel room. Some of his soldiers
          with him.
          He goes to the window. Scans the street below. Sees Martius
          and the others trapped at the bus. He gestures to an aide for

                         A RADIO--

          EXT. CORIOLES-STREET - DAY

          In the face of the crossfire, the Roman soldiers start

                         FALLING BACK--
          Martius refuses to yield -- pushing and shoving his men
          toward the burning bus -- screaming in fury over the noise:

                         

                         

                         

                         

          18.

                         MARTIUS
          You souls of geese,
          That bear the shapes of men! PLUTO AND

          HELL!
          All hurt behind! Backs red, and faces

                         PALE
          With flight and agued fear! Mend and
          charge home,
          Or, by the fires of heaven, I'll leave

                         THE FOE

          AND MAKE MY WARS ON YOU!
          An EXPLOSION -- dirt and brick shards slash across Martius'
          face -- blood--
          This only pushes his fury to white rage--

                         MARTIUS
          Look to it. Come on!

          FOLLOW ME!
          He leaves his soldiers behind--
          Moves alone to the burning bus and fights his way through the

                         FLAMES--
          Martius is in his own world now. He doesn't even realize he
          is alone. He has become a sort of killing machine. A shark
          moving through the ocean. Ruthless and efficient.
          We become the warrior.
          From Martius' POV:
          We move through disorienting curtains of smoke...
          Continue down the street...
          Firing a heavy machine gun...
          Volscian soldiers contort and die, torn to pieces by the
          bullets...
          The heavy machine gun is empty, we drop it and use a sidearm,
          firing strategic shots...
          Volscian soldiers dart up -- fire -- and die...
          We keep moving steadily forward...
          Shadowy shapes moving nearby, we fire. Killing civilians. The
          fortunes of war...

                         

                         

                         

                         

          19.
          Strange surreal images. We smash into a house. An OLD MAN
          crouches, terrified, in a corner. He reaches forward. He is
          offering us water. An act of kindness amid the carnage...
          We move on...
          Panicked civilians, scattering in terror...
          Volscian soldiers rush us, attacking, we slam them aside...
          We duck down, roll under a car, emerge and fire...
          More Volscians die...
          We continue forward...
          Then the pistol is empty, we drop it and pull a machete-like
          knife...
          Still moving relentlessly forward...
          Slashing and killing...
          Hand-to-hand now...
          Carnage.

          EXT. CORIOLES-ALLEY - DAY

          Aufidius and his aides are racing down an alley, trying to
          get to Martius--
          Roman fire stops them--
          They return fire as they divert down another alley, trying
          for a better strategic position, running flat out--

          EXT. CORIOLES - LATER

          Titus and the soldiers are still pinned down at the burning
          bus. Two soldiers race back to Titus to report, they dive for
          cover.

                         TITUS
          What is become of Martius?

                         SOLDIER 1
          Slain, sir, doubtless.

                         SOLDIER 2
          He is himself alone,
          To answer all the city.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          20.

                         TITUS
          Thou art lost, Martius...
          Titus has no time to mourn. He looks over the hopeless
          situation. Scanning the rooftops, windows and shops.
          Then he stops He sees something Past the burning bus
          Through the smoke and flames...
          He glimpses a ghostly figure...

                         TITUS
          Who's yonder,
          That does appear as he were flayed?
          0 gods! He has the stamp of Martius.
          It is indeed Martius.
          A shocking sight.
          Drenched head-to-toe in blood.
          His face splattered with gore.
          His eyes wild.
          Lost in something like rapture.

                         MARTIUS
          Come I too late?! Come I too late?!

                         TITUS
          Ay, if you come not in the blood of
          others,
          But mantled in your own.
          Martius laughs wildly and embraces Titus, who comes away
          splattered with blood:

                         MARTIUS
          0, let me clip ye
          In arms as sound as when I wooed, in

                         HEART
          As merry as when our nuptial day was
          done!
          SUDDENLY -- a deafening explosion -- and RPG EXPLODING from
          nearby. Then gunfire. Bullets shatter windows. The Volscians
          are attacking again.
          The Romans instantly begin diving for cover and taking up

                         DEFENSIVE POSITIONS--

                         

                         

                         

                         

          21.
          Martius scans the location. Sees the attack is coming from an
          old Hilton hotel. Now pockmarked with bullets and artillery
          shells. Most of the windows shattered.
          This is the Volscian stronghold. The last stand. He sees
          flashes of Volscian soldiers moving on the roof and
          balconies, and snipers firing from windows.
          There is an open plaza, littered with bodies and debris, in
          front of the hotel.
          Martius stops scanning with his binoculars--
          Sees Aufidius moving in the hotel, directing the battle--

                         MARTIUS
          There is the man of my soul's hate--

                         AUFIDIUS--
          Piercing our Romans.

                         TITUS
          Worthy sir, thou bleeds.
          Thy exercise hath been too violent
          For a second course of fight.

                         MARTIUS
          Sir, praise me not.
          My work hath yet not warmed me.
          The blood I drop is more medicinal
          Than dangerous to me. To Aufidius thus
          I will appear and fight.
          He turns to some soldiers, imploring them to join him. His
          bloody visage and intensity are strangely inspiring, his

                         FEROCITY INFECTIOUS:

                         MARTIUS

                         (TO SOLDIERS)
          If any such be here-
          As it were sin to doubt - that love this

                         PAINTING
          Wherein you see me smeared; if any fear
          Lesser his person than an ill report;
          If any think brave death outweighs bad
          life,
          And that his country's dearer than

                         HIMSELF;
          Let him alone, or so many so minded,
          Wave thus, to express his disposition,

          AND FOLLOW MARTIUS!
          The soldiers are pumped up -- like Marines straining for

                         COMBAT--

                         

                         

                         

                         

          22.

                         MARTIUS

          0, ME ALONE! MAKE YOU A SWORD OF ME!

                         THEY BOLT--
          Zigzagging across the plaza toward the hotel--
          Titus and the others provide covering fire--

          EXT. CORIOLES-PLAZA - DAY

          Martius zigzags with his men across the dangerously exposed

                         PLAZA--
          They return fire at the hotel as best they can, but the
          barrage from the Volscians is murderous--
          Roman soldiers contort and fall, blood spraying--
          Bullets snap and ricochet everywhere around them--
          But still they keep up a steady pace, reloading and firing as

                         THEY GO--
          Then Martius is hit--

                         BLOOD SPRAYS--
          But still he keeps on--
          The front of the hotel is closer now--
          Martius and his soldiers race to the hotel and crash into the

                         LOBBY--

          INT. CORIOLES-HOTEL-LOBBY - DAY

          Martius and his soldiers battle the Volscian defenders in the

                         HOTEL LOBBY--
          It is the weird and incongruous nature of modern urban
          warfare: soldiers fighting to the death among hotel couches
          and tatty corporate artwork--
          It is brutal--
          Martius and his soldiers cut a bloody swath across the hotel

                         LOBBY--
          Another HUGE EXPLOSION rocks the hotel -- like a seismic
          blast -- an ugly 1970's chandelier falls--

                         

                         

                         

                         

          23.
          Martius and his men move into a stairwell--

          INT. CORIOLES-HOTEL-STAIRWELL - DAY

          Martius and his men race up the stairway-
          Volscians are firing down at them--
          Bullets ricochet crazily in the confined stairway, refracting
          from concrete walls and twisting metal railing, sending up
          sparks and clouds of dust--
          Then Martius slows to a stop.
          Looks up.
          Aufidius is on the stairway above. Glaring down at him.
          A long beat as they lock eyes. Both panting for breath in the
          heat of the combat.

                         MARTIUS
          I'll fight with none but thee, for I do
          hate thee.

                         AUFIDIUS
          We hate alike.
          Then Martius does something astounding.
          He holds out his arms to his sides and drops his weapons.
          They clatter down.
          Aufidius does the same.
          The Roman and Volscian soldiers watch.
          None daring to interfere.
          Martius and Aufidius continue to glare at each other --
          dropping weapons -- disarming -- Martius climbing up the
          stairs, Aufidius coming down -- moving closer and closer--
          At an instant-
          They slam together-
          Fighting without weapons--
          Grappling brutally. Tearing at each other. Twining together.
          Fingers grasping. Teeth snapping. Hands pulling.
          It is a bloody, terrible, graceless struggle.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          24.
          They crash and slam awkwardly in the claustrophobic
          stairwell. Smashing into the walls. Falling from level to

                         LEVEL--

                         THEN--
          Another EXPLOSION rocks the hotel--
          Part of the roof COLLAPSES--
          Concrete SLAMS down--
          A cloud of smoke, dust and debris obscures everything-
          Martius is tossed violently to the ground in the action--
          Aufidius is pulled away by several of his men. They drag him
          to safety. Roman soldiers fire after them. The sound is
          deafening in the confined garage.
          But Aufidius and his comrades disappear into a cloud of dust.
          Gone.
          Martius glares after him. Wipes blood from his eyes.

          INT. CORIOLES-HOTEL-LOBBY - NIGHT

          The hotel lobby has been turned into a hastily assembled
          emergency triage station.
          The moaning and screaming of the injured are constant. Roman
          medics attend to the wounded: administering IVs; arranging
          evacuations; performing battlefield surgery.
          Martius sits, dried blood covering his face, looking over his
          injured and dying soldiers as a medic stitches up a wound in
          his arm. Titus is with him.
          General Cominius enters with several attending officers,
          going to congratulate Martius.

                         COMINIUS
          If I should tell thee over this thy day's
          work,
          Thou would not believe thy deeds.
          Martius is barely listening. His attention is on a YOUNG
          SOLDIER across the room. The Young Soldier is injured, pale
          and thirsty. Dying.

                         COMINIUS
          But I'll report it
          Where Senators shall mingle tears with

                         (MORE)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          25.

                         COMINIUS (CONT'D)

                         SMILES;
          Where great patricians shall attend and
          shrug,
          In the end admire and say: "We thank the

                         GODS
          Our Rome hath such a soldier."

                         MARTIUS

                         (SHIFTING PAINFULLY)
          Pray now, no more. My mother,
          When she does praise me, grieves me.
          I have done as you have done - that's
          what I can;
          Induced as you have been - that's for my
          country.
          Martius continues to look at the poor dying soldier.

                         TITUS
          Rome must know
          The value of her own. It were a

                         CONCEALMENT
          Worse than a theft,
          To hide your doings.

                         MARTIUS
          I have some wounds upon me, and they

                         SMART
          To hear themselves remembered.
          The surgeon finishes stitching Martius' arm. Starts to clean
          another wound.

                         COMINIUS
          Should they not,
          Well might they fester against

                         INGRATITUDE
          Too modest are you.
          Impatient, Martius rises, painfully and slowly. He takes his
          canteen and crosses to the Young Soldier. Gives his canteen
          to the boy. The Young Soldier drinks. His deep, sad eyes gaze
          up at Martius.
          Martius watches as...
          The Young Soldier dies. The light goes from his eyes. His
          head hangs awkwardly. His boyish face is leaden.
          Martius suddenly finds himself exhausted. Morally and
          physically spent.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          26.

                         MARTIUS

                         (TO COMINIUS)
          I will go wash;
          And when my face is fair, you shall

                         PERCEIVE
          Whether I blush or no Howbeit,
          thank you.
          Martius stares at the dead soldier.

          EXT. CORIOLES-STREET - NIGHT

          Aufidius and some of his Volscian soldiers, bloody and
          filthy, are on foot.
          They are moving through the outskirts of Corioles, leaving
          the city. Exhausted after the long and failed battle.
          Fires burn from blasted shops and homes. The Romans have
          clearly laid waste to this part of the city.
          There is a minivan stopped ahead of them. Bullets holes
          everywhere. Bodies inside.
          They walk to it. Aufidius looks in. A dead family. Father,
          mother, kids in the back. Bloody toys on the floor of the
          minivan.
          Roman atrocities.
          Aufidius gazes at the bodies. His face hardens.
          He whispers to himself:

                         AUFIDIUS
          Five times, Martius,
          I have fought with thee; so often hast
          thou beat me,
          And would do so, I think, should we

                         ENCOUNTER
          As often as we eat.
          He becomes aware some of his men are looking at him,
          disturbed at his fervor.

                         AUFIDIUS

                         FOR WHERE
          I thought to crush him in an equal force,
          True sword to sword, I'll stab him some
          way,
          Or wrath -- or craft -- may get him.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          27.

                         SOLDIER
          He's the devil.

                         AUFIDIUS
          Bolder, though not so subtle.
          A beat. Aufidius continues with prayer-like intensity:

                         AUFIDIUS
          My valor, poisoned with him,
          Shall fly out of itself ...
          Nor sleep, nor sanctuary, being naked,
          Sick, the prayers of priests,
          Nor times of sacrifice,
          Shall lift up their rotten privilege
          And custom,
          Against my hate to Martius.
          In the shattered glass of the minivan window, Aufidius
          suddenly sees himself.
          He studies his own face, nurturing his dark thoughts.

                         AUFIDIUS
          Where I find him, were it
          At home, upon my brother's guard, even
          there,
          Will I wash my fierce hand in his heart.

          INT. POLITICO BAR - DAY

          Back in Rome, we are at a comfortable restaurant/bar near the
          Senate where politicians gather to eat, drink, gossip and
          conspire. The business of state is conducted over steak and
          martinis.
          Comfortable red leather booths. Wooden panelling.
          Two Tribunes -- Senators chosen to speak for the people --
          are having lunch.
          BRUTUS is a large man in a rumpled grey suit; a sweating bear
          with a taste for bare-knuckle politics. SICINIUS is smaller
          and vulpine; crafty and cold.
          Both are ambitious politicos used to manipulating the people
          and the press for their personal ends. With them sits
          Cassius, the political agitator we met before.
          The TV over the bar shows images of Martius' victory:
          parading Roman troops; Volscian prisoners; flags; adoring
          crowds; triumphant slogans; "Mission Accomplished."

                         

                         

                         

                         

          28.

                         SICINIUS
          Was ever man so proud as is this Martius?

                         CASSIUS
          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.
          They see Senator Menenius approaching. Sicinius nods to
          Cassius, who quickly goes.
          Menenius stops by on his way out. He is jolly, knowing the
          victory will assure his protege's political future:

                         MENENIUS
          The augurer tells me we shall have news
          tonight.

                         BRUTUS
          Good or bad?

                         MENENIUS
          Not according to the prayer of the
          people, for they love not Martius.

                         SICINIUS
          Nature teaches beasts to know their
          friends.

                         MENENIUS
          You blame Martius for being proud?

                         BRUTUS
          We do it not alone, sir.
          Subtly, the polite chit-chat is turning more serious and
          pointed; Menenius growing sharper. The gloves are coming off.

                         MENENIUS
          I know you can do very little alone
          You talk of pride: 0 that you could turn
           your eyes toward the napes of your necks,
           and make but an interior survey of your
          good selves! 0 that you could!

                         

                         

                         

                         

          29.

                         BRUTUS
          What then, sir?

                         MENENIUS
          Why, then you should discover a brace of
          unmeriting, proud, violent, testy
          magistrates, alias fools, as any in Rome.
          The saturnine Sicinius' response seems almost a threat:

                         SICINIUS
          Menenius, you are known well enough too.

                         MENENIUS
          I am known to be a humorous patrician,
          and one that loves a cup of hot wine with
          not a drop of allaying water in it; one
          that converses more with the buttock of
          the night than with the forehead of the
          morning. What I think I utter, and spend
          my malice in my breath.

                         BRUTUS
          Come, sir, come, we know you well enough.

                         MENENIUS
          You know neither me, yourselves nor
          anything You are ambitious.
          A tense beat. They are formidable adversaries.

                         MENENIUS
          Good-e'en to your worships. More of your
          conversation would infect my brain, being
          the herdsmen of the beastly plebeians
          I will be bold to take my leave of you.
          He goes. The Tribunes watch him cut through the lunch crowd
          and exit.

          EXT. SENATE - DAY

          The Roman Senate is constructed with classical symmetry and
          clean, square lines. Probably the most striking and beautiful
          building in Rome.

          INT. SENATE-CORRIDOR - DAY

          Volumnia, Virgilia and Menenius are hurrying down a corridor,
          excited. All are well-dressed, for an important public event.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          30.

                         VOLUMNIA
          Honorable Menenius, my boy Martius
          approaches! For the love of Juno, let's
          go.

                         MENENIUS
          Is he not wounded? He was wont to come
          home wounded.

                         VIRGILIA
          0, no, no, no...

                         VOLUMNIA

                         (VICTORIOUSLY)
          0, he is wounded! I thank the gods for
          it.

                         MENENIUS
          So do I too -- if it be not too much.
          Brings a victory in his pocket, the
          wounds become him. Has he disciplined
          Aufidius soundly?

                         VOLUMNIA
          Titus Lartius says they fought together,
          but Aufidius got off.

                         VIRGILIA
          In truth, there's wondrous things spoke
          of him. Gods grant them true.

                         VOLUMNIA
          (an exhalation of scorn)
          True?!

                         MENENIUS
          I'll be sworn they are true. Where is he
          wounded?
          Volumnia and Menenius now gleefully add up her son's wounds
          like accountants -- or campaign managers.

                         VOLUMNIA
          In the shoulder and in the left arm.
          There will be large scars to show the
          people, when he shall stand for his place
          He received in the repulse of Tarquin
          seven hurts in the body.

                         MENENIUS
          One in the neck, and two in the thigh -
          there's nine that I know.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         31

                         VOLUMNIA
          He had, before this last expedition,
          twenty-five wounds upon him.

                         MENENIUS
          Now it's twenty-seven. Every gash was an
          enemy's grave.
          We focus on Volumnia's face as she thinks about her son.

                         VOLUMNIA

                         BEFORE HIM
          He carries noise, and behind him he
          leaves tears.
          Death, that dark spirit, in his nervy arm

                         DOTH LIE;
          Which, being advanced, declines, and then
          men die.
          They hurry to the stop of a grand staircase, where there are
          people waiting...

          INT. SENATE-STAIRS - DAY

          They join Cominius and other dignitaries at the top of a
          majestic stairway.
          An honor guard of Roman soldiers in dress uniforms are
          waiting. Roman flags flutter. All very ceremonial.
          Martius enters below. The honor guard snaps to attention.
          Martius -- hereafter called Coriolanus -- slowly begins to
          cross to the steps. We see that walking is very difficult
          for him. His wounds are severe and every movement is agony.
          He has paid a steep price for his victory.
          Photographers flash photos and a TV crew film the ceremony.
          Coriolanus finally reaches the steps leading up. He takes a
          breath and slowly begins to climb the stairs, each step a
          challenge.
          Volumnia looks down on him. Unmoved by his pain.
          Virgilia is distraught.
          As Coriolanus slowly hauls himself up the last few steps,
          General Cominius speaks into a cluster of microphones and
          addresses the press:

                         

                         

                         

                         

          32.

                         COMINIUS
          Be it known,
          As to us, to all the world, that Caius

                         MARTIUS
          Wears this war's garland And from
          this time,
          For what he did before Corioles, call
          him,
          With all the applause and clamor of the
          host,
          "Caius Martius Coriolanus!"

                         (TO MARTIUS)
          Bear the addition nobly ever!
          The soldiers salute in a grim sort of chant:

                         SOLDIERS
          Caius Martius Coriolanus!
          Coriolanus has reached the podium. An awkward beat. Cominius
          gestures for him to speak into the microphones.
          He tersely does so:

                         CORIOLANUS
          No more of this; it does offend my heart.
          Pray now, no more.
          An awkward silence. Cominius elegantly tries to covers the

                         MOMENT:

                         COMINIUS
          Look, sir, your mother.

                         CORIOLANUS

          0,
          You have, I know, petitioned all the gods
          For my prosperity.
          He kneels to her -- slowly, with great difficulty -- she lets
          him.

                         VOLUMNIA
          Nay, my good soldier, up.
          (he slowly rises)
          My gentle Martius, worthy Caius, and
          By deed-achieving honor newly named -
          What is it? - Coriolanus must I call
          thee?
          She laughs coquettishly, thoroughly upstaging her son.
          Then, almost an afterthought:

                         

                         

                         

                         

          33.

                         VOLUMNIA
          But, 0, thy wife...
          Coriolanus greets Virgilia with the clumsy and stiff
          formality that marks their marriage.

                         CORIOLANUS
          My gracious silence, hail.
          An awkwardly tender kiss. He notes her tears. Reacts coldly.

                         CORIOLANUS
          Would thou have laughed had I come
          coffined home,
          That weeps to see me triumph? Ay, my
          dear,
          Such eyes the widows in Corioles wear,
          And mothers that lack sons.

                         MENENIUS
          Now, the gods crown thee!

                         CORIOLANUS
          (greets him warmly)
          And live you yet?

                         VOLUMNIA

                         (LAUGHS)
          I know not where to turn. 0, welcome
          home!
          And welcome, general. And you're welcome
          all!

                         MENENIUS
          A hundred thousand welcomes!
          Coriolanus is surrounded by well-wishers and political
          admirers. Volumnia and Menenius usher him along.
          We see the image from TV: The noble warrior returned home.
          Devoted family. Flags waving. The future golden.

          INT. VILLA-BATHROOM - EVENING

          And then the hard reality.
          Coriolanus' body is a battleground of scars. Some are livid
          and red, fresh and still oozing blood. Others are pale and
          blue, discolored and dead.
          His body is something monstrous. Stitched up. Patched
          together. Slashed around. Frankenstein's monster.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          34.
          He is leaning against a sink, stripped naked. His muscular if
          shattered body exposed.
          Volumnia sits and dresses her son's wounds. As she always has
          done. As she always will.
          It is a disturbing, intimate image.

                         CORIOLANUS
          The good Senators must be visited;
          From whom I have received not only
          greetings,
          But with them change of honors.
          He shifts painfully as she continues to treat one of his
          wounds.

                         VOLUMNIA
          I have lived
          To see inherited my very wishes
          And the buildings of my fancy. Only
          There's one thing wanting, which I doubt

                         NOT BUT
          Our Rome will cast upon thee.
          He catches her eye in the mirror, very firm:

                         CORIOLANUS
          Know, good mother,
          I had rather be their servant in my way,
          Than sway with them in theirs.
          They stop when--
          Virgilia enters.
          She stops in the doorway. It is embarrassing for her, as if
          she has interrupted two lovers. A long moment.
          She looks to her husband.
          To Volumnia.
          They stare back.
          There is no way she can compete with their intimacy.
          Surrendering, she silently goes.

          INT. VILLA -- HALLWAY - EVENING

          Virgilia wanders a long hallway, past a fine collection of
          antique Roman weaponry. She seems lost.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          35.
          She stops and opens a door, glances into her son's bedroom:
          Young Martius is asleep.
          Her eyes move across his room. The military toys. The little
          cadet uniform carefully hung. The polished boots waiting.
          All stern and joyless. Not like a child's room at all.
          Virgilia closes the door and continues down the long hallway,
          disappearing into darkness.

          INT. SENATE-OFFICE - DAY

          Darkened office. Brutus and Sicinius sit, heads together,
          focused.

                         SICINIUS
          He cannot temperately transport his
          honors, but will
          Lose those he hath won.

                         BRUTUS
          I heard him swear,
          Were he to stand for Consul, never would

                         HE
          Appear in the marketplace nor
          Showing, as the manner is, his wounds
          To the people, beg "their stinking
          breaths."

                         SICINIUS
          It was his word.

          INT. SENATE-CORRIDOR - DAY

          Brutus and Sicinius continue as they hurry to the Senate

                         CHAMBER:

                         BRUTUS
          So it must fall out with him,
          Or our authorities at an end.

                         SICINIUS
          We must suggest to the people in what

                         HATRED
          He still hath held them.

                         BRUTUS

                         (SHUSHING HIM)
          Peace...

                         

                         

                         

                         

          36.
          They enter the Senate Chamber...

          INT. SENATE CHAMBER - DAY

          Brutus and Sicinius make their way to their seats as we hear:

          MENENIUS (V.0.)
          It remains,
          As the main point of this our after-
          meeting,
          To gratify his noble service that
          Hath thus stood for his country...
          The interior of the grand Senate is an airy, sweeping chamber
          that suggests the Israeli Knesset or U.N. General Assembly.
          Again, classical symmetry is the rule with tiers of seats
          facing a central dais. An imposing piece of outdated modern
          art suggesting the might of Rome looms over the chamber like
          a bird of prey.
          Network TV cameras purr quietly from a corner.
          Menenius, Cominius, Coriolanus and several other politicos
          are seating at a central table on the dais, facing the rows
          of SENATORS.
          Menenius is standing at a podium, speaking into a microphone:

                         MENENIUS
          Therefore, please you,
          Most reverend and grave elders, to desire
          The present Consul, and last general
          In our well-found successes, to report
          A little of that worthy work performed
          By Caius Martius Coriolanus.

                         SENATOR
          Speak, good Cominius.
          General Cominius rises and moves to the podium.
          But then Coriolanus abruptly stands--

                         MENENIUS
          Nay, keep your place.

                         SENATOR
          Sit, Coriolanus. Never shame to hear
          What you have nobly done.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          37.

                         CORIOLANUS
          Your honors' pardon.
          I had rather have my wounds to heal again
          Than hear say how I got them.

                         MENENIUS
          Pray now, sit down.

                         CORIOLANUS
          I had rather have one scratch my head in

                         THE SUN
          When the alarum were struck than idly sit
          To hear my nothings monstered.
          Coriolanus moves across the dais and exits into a hallway.
          The door shuts after him.
          Menenius sighs. Nods to Cominius.
          Cominius moves to the podium and begins to read his speech
          from a Teleprompter. This all has the rehearsed quality of a
          campaign nomination speech.

                         COMINIUS
          The deeds of Coriolanus
          Should not be uttered feebly. It is held
          That valor is the chiefest virtue, and
          Most dignifies the haver. Alone he

                         ENTERED
          The mortal gate of the city,
          And struck Corioles like a planet,
          From face to foot
          He was a thing of blood...
          Brutus and Sicinius exchange a glance, bored by the political
          boilerplate.

          INT. SENATE-SERVICE CORRIDOR - DAY

          Meanwhile, Coriolanus stands in the service corridor beyond
          the chamber. Green industrial walls. Ugly fluorescent lights
          above.
          He leans against a wall, alone with his thoughts.
          Cominius' voice can be heard droning inside.
          Then Coriolanus glances up. A CUSTODIAN is pushing a garbage
          can down the long corridor. He stops when he sees Coriolanus.
          Coriolanus' cool, uncompromising stare makes the Custodian
          uneasy. He turns around and goes back.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          38.
          Coriolanus waits. His face strangely vacant.
          He flexes his wounded arm. It hurts.
          He hears Cominius finish. A good round of applause. He hears
          his name being cheered: "Coriolanus!"
          Coriolanus closes his eyes, steels himself, and then re-
          enters the chamber...

          INT. SENATE CHAMBER - DAY

          Menenius greets him and escorts him to the podium for his
          "acceptance speech."

                         MENENIUS
          The Senate, Coriolanus, are well pleased
          To make thee Consul!
          Menenius steps back.
          A beat.
          Coriolanus stares at the Senators. At the TV cameras.
          He leans awkwardly into the podium microphone:

                         CORIOLANUS
          I do owe them still
          My life and services.
          A beat.
          For an acceptance speech, rather terse. Menenius jumps in to
          salvage the moment:

                         MENENIUS
          It then remains
          That you do speak to the people.

                         CORIOLANUS
          I do beseech you,
          Let me overleap that custom, for I cannot

                         ENTREAT THEM
          For my wounds' sake to give their
          suffrage.
          Please you that I may pass this doing.
          From the Senate floor, Sicinius jumps on this:

                         SICINIUS
          Sir, the people
          Must have their voices!

                         

                         

                         

                         

          39.
          The Senators, led by Brutus, clamor their agreement.
          Tradition must be obeyed.

                         MENENIUS
          (calming, to Coriolanus)
          Pray you, go fit you to the custom.

                         CORIOLANUS
          It is a part
          That I shall blush in acting, and might

                         WELL
          Be taken from the people.
          Menenius quickly turns off Coriolanus' microphone.

                         BRUTUS

                         (TO SICINIUS)
          Mark you that?

                         CORIOLANUS
          To brag unto them "Thus I did, and thus!"
          Show them the unaching scars which I
          should hide,
          As if I had received them for the hire
          Of their breath only!
          Menenius sees Coriolanus is getting angry, this could be
          disastrous.
          He elegantly gestures for Cominius to escort Coriolanus out
          immediately -- as he addresses the Senators and TV cameras:

                         MENENIUS
          To our noble Consul
          Wish we all joy and honor!
          He applauds. The applause is taken up by the Senators. Some
          cheering as well for the hero of Rome The two Tribunes,
          however, are already whispering maliciously to other
          Senators.
          Menenius seems pleased with the general response. So far, so
          good.

          INT. VILLA -- LIVING ROOM - DAY

          Volumnia is pleased as well.
          She sits, watching the events unfold on TV.
          The sound of the cheering fades as we go to...

                         

                         

                         

                         

          40.

          INT. MENENIUS' LIMO - DAY

          The limousine winds through the pedestrian traffic toward the
          Roman marketplace.
          Coriolanus sits with Menenius. Coriolanus is both angry and
          embarrassed. He is wearing a sharp business suit.

                         MENENIUS
          Have you not known
          The worthiest men have done it?

                         CORIOLANUS

                         (AGREES)
          Custom calls me to it.
          What custom wills, in all things should
          we do...
          What must I say?
          "Look, sir, my wounds.
          I got them in my country's service."

                         MENENIUS
          O me, the gods!
          You must not speak like that. You must

                         DESIRE THEM
          To think upon you--

                         CORIOLANUS
          "Think upon me"? Hang 'em!
          I would they would forget me.

                         MENENIUS
          You'll mar all!
          The limo stops. They are at the marketplace. The moment has
          come.
          Menenius takes a breath. Urges calm:

                         MENENIUS
          Pray you, speak to them, I pray you,
          In wholesome manner.

                         CORIOLANUS

                         (SOURLY)
          Bid them wash their faces
          And keep their teeth clean.
          He leaves the car.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          41.

          EXT. MARKETPLACE - DAY

          The commercial heart of Rome. A large town square, since
          antiquity used as a marketplace.
          But now it is filled with tatty stalls selling cheap purses
          and knock-off watches. Paltry fruit stands alongside shabby
          souvenir stalls.
          Advertising billboards surround and pollute the square --
          SONY. COKE. NIKE. MCDONALDS -- obscuring any classical
          architecture that might have survived.
          Tamora and Cassius, the political activists, are in the
          crowd. They watch closely.
          Coriolanus slowly walks to the center of the marketplace. He
          stands, feeling ridiculous and not at all humble.
          He looks around.
          Waiting for something to happen.
          The CUSTOMERS and SHOPKEEPERS just look back at him. Some are
          curious. Some are amused. Some hostile and most indifferent.
          But no one approaches.
          Then Coriolanus understands. He must g to them: beg for
          votes.
          He prepares himself and then slowly moves through the various
          stalls, weaving in and out. Trying to maintain his dignity.
          He sees the Citizens from before and goes to them. We glimpse
          Brutus and Sicinius amongst the crowd.

                         CORIOLANUS

                         (TO CASSIUS)
          You know the cause, sir, of my standing
          here.

                         CASSIUS
          We do, sir. Tell us what hath brought you
          to it.

                         CORIOLANUS
          Mine own desert.

                         TAMORA
          Your own desert?

                         CORIOLANUS
          Ay, but not mine own desire.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          42.

                         TAMORA
          How not your own desire?

                         CORIOLANUS
          No, it was never my desire yet to trouble
          the poor with begging.

                         CASSIUS
          You must think, if we give you anything,
          we hope to gain by you.

                         CORIOLANUS
          Well then, I pray, your price of the
          Consulship?

                         WAR VET
          The price is to ask it kindly.

                         CORIOLANUS
          Kindly, sir, I pray, let me have it. I
          have wounds to show you, which shall be
          yours in private Your good voice,
          sir. What say you?

                         WAR VET

                         (IMPRESSED)
          You shall have it, worthy sir.

                         CORIOLANUS
          A match, sir. There's in all two worthy
          voices begged. I have your alms. Adieu.
          Business done, so he thinks, Coriolanus crisply moves on.
          Cassius is not convinced.

                         CASSIUS
          But this is something odd.
          Coriolanus continues on. He sees a large JAMAICAN WOMAN with
          her CHILDREN, carrying plastic grocery bags, talking to a
          SHOPKEEPER. He goes to them:

                         CORIOLANUS
          Pray you now, if it may stand with the
          tune of your voices that I may be Consul.

                         JAMAICAN WOMAN
          You have deserved nobly of your country,
          and you have not deserved nobly.

                         CORIOLANUS
          Your enigma?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          43.

                         JAMAICAN WOMAN
          You have been a scourge to her enemies;
          you have been a rod to her friends
          You have not indeed loved the common
          people.

                         CORIOLANUS
          You should account me the more virtuous
          that I have not been common in my love
          Therefore, beseech you, I may be
          Consul.

                         SHOPKEEPER
          We hope to find you our friend, and
          therefore give you our voices heartily.

                         JAMAICAN WOMAN
          You have received many wounds for your
          country.

                         CORIOLANUS
          I will not seal your knowledge with
          showing them. I will make much of your
          voices, and so trouble you no farther.

                         JAMAICAN WOMAN
          The gods give you joy, sir, heartily!
          Coriolanus is warming to the task, it's easier than he
          thought. He moves to a central, open area and declares

                         PUBLICLY:

                         CORIOLANUS
          Your voices! For your voices I have

                         FOUGHT;
          Watched for your voices; for your voices

                         BEAR
          Of wounds two dozen odd; battles thrice

                         SIX
          I have seen and heard of!
          A crowd is gathering. We note Brutus and Sicinius in the
          crowd. Menenius, too, has moved in.

                         CORIOLANUS
          For your voices
          Have done many things, some less, some
          more.
          Your voices! Indeed, I would be Consul.

                         WAR VET
          He has done nobly, and cannot go without
          any honest man's voice!

                         

                         

                         

                         

          44.

          RACE TRACK TOUT
          Therefore let him be Consul!

                         JAMAICAN WOMAN
          The gods give him joy, and make him good
          friend to the people!
          The Citizens applaud and give their support:

                         CITIZENS
          Amen, amen. God save thee, noble Consul!

                         CORIOLANUS
          Worthy voices!
          Menenius, with Brutus and Sicinius, goes to him:

                         MENENIUS
          You have stood your limitation, and the

                         TRIBUNES
          Endue you with the people's voice.

                         CORIOLANUS
          Is this done?

                         SICINIUS
          The custom of request you have
          discharged.
          The people do admit you, and are summoned
          To meet anon upon your approbation.

                         CORIOLANUS
          Where? At the Senate?

                         SICINIUS
          There, Coriolanus.

                         MENENIUS
          I'll keep you company.

                         (TO BRUTUS)
          Will you along?

                         BRUTUS

                         (DECLINES)
          We stay here for the people.
          Coriolanus and Menenius go, relieved the trial is over.
          Brutus and Sicinius, however, have work to do. This has not
          gone as they wanted. They are urgent:

                         SICINIUS
          How now, my masters! Have you chose this
          man?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          45.

                         CASSIUS

                         (RUEFULLY)
          He has our voices, sir.

                         BRUTUS
          We pray the gods he may deserve your
          loves.

                         TAMORA
          Amen, sir. To my poor unworthy notice,
          He mocked us when he begged our voices.

                         CASSIUS

                         CERTAINLY
          He flouted us downright.

                         JAMAICAN WOMAN
          No, it is his kind of speech; he did not
          mock us.

                         TAMORA

                         (SHARPLY)
          He should have showed us
          His marks of merit, wounds received for's
          country.

                         SICINIUS
          Why, so he did, I am sure.

                         TAMORA
          No, no! No one saw them!

                         CASSIUS
          (inciting the crowd)
          Was not this mockery?
          Brutus presses hard:

                         BRUTUS
          When he had no power,
          But was a petty servant to the state,
          He was your enemy, ever spake against
          Your liberties.

                         SICINIUS
          Did you perceive
          He did solicit you in free contempt
          When he did need your loves, and do you

                         THINK
          That his contempt shall not be bruising

                         TO YOU
          When he hath power to crush?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          46.
          Cassius and Tamora carefully lead the crowd in expressing
          growing alarm and resistance to Coriolanus:

                         CASSIUS
          He's not confirmed; we may deny him yet!

                         TAMORA
          And will deny him!
          I'll have five hundred voices of that
          sound.

                         CASSIUS
          I twice five hundred and their friends!
          The crowd roars approval. A frightening, animal sound.

                         SICINIUS
          Let them assemble,
          And on a safer judgment all revoke
          Your ignorant election.

                         BRUTUS
          Enforce his pride,
          And his old hate unto you!

                         SICINIUS
          And presently, when you have drawn your
          number,
          Repair to the Capitol.

                         CASSIUS
          We will so!

                         TAMORA
          We will so! All
          Repent in their election!
          Cassius and Tamora lead the crowd. It is a terrifying
          spectacle of sudden mob rage, only a razor-thin edge to
          violence.
          Brutus and Sicinius watch, satisfied, like Robespierre and
          Saint Just looking over the bloody guillotine.

          INT. SENATE-CORRIDOR - DAY

          Coriolanus, dressed again in his familiar uniform, emerges
          from an antechamber with his comrade Titus.
          Menenius, General Cominius and several pro-Coriolanus
          Senators follow them. They stride down the corridor.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          47.

                         CORIOLANUS

                         (TO TITUS)
           Tullus Aufidius then has assembled a new
          army?

                         TITUS
          He has, my lord.

                         CORIOLANUS
          Saw you Aufidius?

                         TITUS
          He is retired to Antium.

                         CORIOLANUS
          Spoke he of me?

                         TITUS
          He did, my lord.

                         CORIOLANUS
          How? What?

                         TITUS
          How often he had met you, sword to sword;
          That of all things upon the earth he

                         HATED
          Your person most.

                         CORIOLANUS
          At Antium lives he?

                         TITUS
          At Antium.

                         CORIOLANUS
          I wish I had a cause to seek him there,
          To oppose his hatred fully.
          They hear the growing rumble of a crowd. Curious.
          They continue on and turn a corner to...

          INT. SENATE-CENTRAL LOBBY - DAY

          The central lobby of the Senate is an open, airy space.
          Through the glass doors at the front of the lobby an unruly
          crowd can be seen gathering. Police. Barricades.
          Sicinius and Brutus are waiting to intercept them.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          48.

                         CORIOLANUS

                         (TO TITUS)
          Behold, these are the Tribunes of the
          people,
          The tongues of the common mouth.

                         SICINIUS
          Pass no further.

                         CORIOLANUS
          Ha! What is that?

                         BRUTUS
          It will be dangerous to go on. No
          further.

                         CORIOLANUS
          What makes this change?

                         MENENIUS
          The matter?

                         COMINIUS
          Hath he not passed the nobles and the
          commons?

                         BRUTUS
          Cominius, no.
          Coriolanus steps closer to Brutus. The mob sees him through
          the glass doors. The tension immediately increases.

                         CORIOLANUS
          Have I had children's voices?

                         TITUS
          Tribunes, give way.

                         BRUTUS
          The people are incensed against him.

                         CORIOLANUS
          (glancing to the growing

                         CROWD)
          Are these your herd?

                         MENENIUS
          Be calm, be calm.

                         BRUTUS
          The people cry you mocked them, and of
          late called them
          Time-pleasers, flatterers, foes to
          nobleness.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          49.

                         CORIOLANUS
          But this was known before.

                         SICINIUS
          You show too much of that
          For which the people stir. If you will

                         PASS
          To where you are bound, you must inquire
          your way.
          The crowd outside is growing restless, sensing and responding
          to the building tension. The police try to hold them back,
          keeping them away from the doors. The crowd presses in.
          We see Cassius and Tamora at the forefront, urging the crowd
          on.

                         MENENIUS
          Let's be calm--

                         COMINIUS
          The people are abused, set on--

                         MENENIUS
          Not now, not now--

                         TITUS
          Not in this heat, sir--
          Coriolanus strides angrily toward the doors and exits--
          The others follow--

          EXT. SENATE-COURTYARD - DAY

          Coriolanus launches himself into the crowd with blistering

                         ANGER:

                         CORIOLANUS
          My nobler friends, I crave their pardons.
          For the mutable, rank-scented crowd,
          Let them regard me as I do not flatter,
          And therein behold themselves. I say
          again,
          In soothing them, we nourish against our

                         SENATE
          The cockle of rebellion, insolence,
          sedition,
          Which we ourselves have ploughed for,
          sowed, and scattered,
          By mingling them with us!

                         

                         

                         

                         

          50.

                         MENENIUS
          Well, no more!

                         TITUS
          No more words, we beseech you--
          The mob has surrounded them all by now.
          The police are getting nervous, eyes darting uneasily from
          the unruly crowd to the volatile men.
          This all has the potential of sparking to violence.
          We note a TV news crew moving into position, covering the
          action. Others film with cell phone cameras. We intercut some
          of this footage.

                         BRUTUS
          (to Coriolanus, provoking)
          You speak of the people
          As if you were a god to punish, not
          A man of their infirmity.

                         SICINIUS
          It were well we let the people know it.

                         CORIOLANUS
          Were I as patient as the midnight sleep,
          By Jove, it would be my mind!

                         SICINIUS
          It is a mind
          That shall remain a poison where it is,
          Not poison any further.

                         CORIOLANUS

                         (EXPLODES)
          "Shall remain"!
          Hear you this Triton of the minnows? Mark

                         YOU
          His absolute "shall"?

                         BRUTUS
          Why, should the people give
          One that speaks thus their voice?

                         CORIOLANUS
          I'll give my reasons,
          More worthier than their voices!
          Menenius tries to pull him away, Coriolanus shakes free and
          continues the attack:

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         51

                         CORIOLANUS
          By Jove himself,
          It makes the consuls base; and my soul

                         ACHES
          To know, when two authorities are up,
          Neither supreme, how soon confusion,
          May enter 'twixt the gap of both and take
          The one by the other.
          The crowd roars angrily -- Coriolanus spins on them:

                         CORIOLANUS
          Thus we debase the nature of our seats,
          and make the rabble
          Call our cares fears; which will in time
          Break ope the locks of the Senate, and

                         BRING IN
          The crows to peck the eagles!

                         MENENIUS
          Come, enough!

                         BRUTUS
          Enough, with over-measure.

                         SICINIUS
          (calls to the mob)
          He has spoken like a traitor, and shall

                         ANSWER
          As traitors do!
          At the word "traitor" Coriolanus loses all reason, he is

                         FIRE:

                         CORIOLANUS
          Thou wretch, despite overwhelm thee!

                         BRUTUS
          Manifest treason!

                         SICINIUS
          This is a Consul? No!

                         CORIOLANUS
          Hence, old goat!
          Coriolanus grabs Sicinius roughly and flings him aside--
          At this -- the crowd ROARS in outrage -- the TV crews hustle

                         FOR POSITION--
          Menenius pulls Coriolanus off:

                         

                         

                         

                         

          52.

                         MENENIUS
          On both sides more respect!

                         SICINIUS
          (calling to the crowd)
          Here's he that would take from you all
          your power!
          The crowd reacts angrily -- surging forward against the
          restraint of the police.
          We see grim RIOT POLICE marching into position. The crowd is
          not intimidated, they are spoiling for a fight.
          The Tribunes provoke the crowd even more, escalating and
          building the fever:

                         BRUTUS
          You are at point to lose your liberties!
          Martius would have all from you, Martius,
          Whom late you have named for Consul.

                         SICINIUS
          What is the city but the people?!

                         TAMORA
          True! The people are the city!

                         SICINIUS
          We do here pronounce, upon the part of
          the people,
          Martius is worthy of present DEATH!
          A huge roar from the mob. Panic and violence building. Fast

                         AND OVERLAPPING:

                         BRUTUS
          Guards, seize him!

                         CORIOLANUS
          No, I'll die here!

                         BRUTUS
          Lay hands upon him!

                         SICINIUS
          (to the crowd)

          HELP, YE CITIZENS!
          At his cue--
          The civil violence threatened from the opening moments of
          this story finally EXPLODES--

                         

                         

                         

                         

          53.
          With Cassius and Tamora in the forefront, the crowd attacks

                         THE POLICE--
          Riot Police march in, slamming ahead with riot shields and

                         TRUNCHEONS--
          The mob fights back with anything at hand -- some are armed
          with clubs and knives, others snatch up garbage cans and
          newspaper vending machines, throwing them, smashing windows,
          battling the police, kicking and punching and screaming--
          It is civil disobedience. But it is also drunken, thug
          violence. Terrifying in its intensity--
          Menenius gets Titus and Cominius to hustle Coriolanus away--

                         MENENIUS
          Go, get you to your house! Be gone, away!
          All will be naught else--

                         COMINIUS
          Come, sir, along with us--
          They hurry Coriolanus away--
          The Riot Police, outnumbered, start firing TEAR GAS into the

                         CROWD--

                         SCREAMS--
          TV news crew filming--
          Chaotic, flurried violence--
          Shaky TV images, cell phone video--
          Choking, acrid gas--
          It is a terrifying descent into public madness as all order
          breaks down.
          Rome is bloody.

          INT. SENATE-OFFICE - DUSK

          Menenius and the Tribunes are gathered in a darkened office
          for some high-stakes politicking.
          Tamora, her face bloody from the riot, is with them. So too
          some supporters on either side.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          54.

                         MENENIUS

                         (URGENTLY)
          As I do know the Consul's worthiness,
          So can I name his faults--

                         SICINIUS
          Consul! What Consul?

                         MENENIUS
          The Consul Coriolanus.

                         BRUTUS
          He Consul?!

                         SICINIUS
          It is decreed
          He dies tonight.

                         TAMORA
          He's a disease that must be cut away.

                         MENENIUS
          0, he's a limb that has but a disease:
          Mortal, to cut it off; to cure it, easy.
          What has he done to Rome that's worth his
          death? Eh?
          Killing our enemies?!
          He sees that his words are having some effect, he presses the

                         POINT:

                         MENENIUS
          The blood he hath lost --
          He dropped it for his country.
          Some in the room murmur agreement.

                         BRUTUS
          We'll hear no more--

                         MENENIUS
          Consider this: he has been bred in the

                         WARS
          Since he could draw a sword, and is ill

                         SCHOOLED
          In graceful language Give me leave,
          I'll go to him, and undertake to bring

                         HIM
          Where he shall answer by a lawful form,
          In peace, to his utmost peril.

                         PRO-CORIOLANUS SENATOR
          Noble tribunes,
          It is the humane way.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          55.

                         ANOTHER SENATOR
          The other course
          Will prove too bloody, and the end of it
          Unknown to the beginning.
          Sicinius is about to retort when Brutus stops him.
          Brutus assents, assuming the voice of reason:

                         BRUTUS
          Be you then as the people's officer.
          Menenius and Coriolanus' supporters are relieved.

                         BRUTUS
          If you bring not Martius, we'll proceed
          In our first way.

                         MENENIUS
          I'll bring him to you.
          He goes quickly.
          Brutus turns to Sicinius and Tamora and begins to quietly
          explain his plan.

          INT. MARTIUS VILLA-CORRIDOR - DAY

          Coriolanus strides angrily down a long corridor, in and out
          of shafts of light, seething to Titus:

                         CORIOLANUS
          Let them pull all about mine ears,

                         PRESENT ME
          Death on the wheel or at wild horses'
          heels,
          Yet will I still be thus to them--!

                         TITUS

                         MARTIUS--

                         CORIOLANUS

                         (CONTINUING UNABATED)
          I muse my mother
          Does not approve me further!
          He slams through a door to the living room...

          INT. VILLA -- LIVING ROOM - DAY

          And stomps to confront his mother, who is currently
          conspiring with Menenius and a few Senators.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          56.

                         CORIOLANUS
          (to Volumnia, angrily)
          I talk of you!
          Why did you wish me milder? Would you

                         HAVE ME
          False to my nature? Rather say I play
          The man I am!
          She is equally tough with him, not giving an inch, snapping

                         RIGHT BACK:

                         VOLUMNIA
          0, sir, sir, sir,
          I would have had you put your power well
          on,
          Before you had worn it out.

                         CORIOLANUS
          Let go!

                         VOLUMNIA
          You might have been enough the man you
          are,
          With striving less to be so!

                         CORIOLANUS
          Let them hang!

                         VOLUMNIA
          Av, and burn too!
          Her outraged fury matches his. Overpowers his.

                         MENENIUS

                         (TO CORIOLANUS)
          Come, come, you have been too rough,
          something too rough.
          You must return and mend it.
          Coriolanus turns away.

                         VOLUMNIA
          Pray, be counseled.
          I have a heart as little apt as yours,
          But yet a brain that leads my use of

                         ANGER
          To better vantage.

                         MENENIUS
          Well said, noble woman!

                         CORIOLANUS
          What must I do?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          57.

                         MENENIUS
          Return to the Tribunes.

                         CORIOLANUS
          Well, what then? What then?

                         MENENIUS
          Repent what you have spoke.

                         CORIOLANUS
          For them? I cannot do it to the gods.
          Must I then do it to them?

                         VOLUMNIA
          You are too absolute,
          Though therein you can never be too
          noble.

                         CORIOLANUS
          (upset, walking away)
          Why force you this?
          She pursues him:

                         VOLUMNIA
          Because that now it lies you on to speak
          To the people, not by your own
          instruction,
          Nor by the matter which your heart
          prompts you,
          But with such words that are but

                         REHEARSED IN
          Your tongue, though but bastards and

                         SYLLABLES
          Of no allowance to your bosom's truth...
          She moves closer to him. Her voice lower. A sort of
          seduction.

                         VOLUMNIA
          I would dissemble with my nature where
          My fortunes and my friends at stake

                         REQUIRED
          I should do so in honor...
          She is very close now. Whispering. She touches him gently,
          like a lover.

                         VOLUMNIA
          I am in this your wife, your son,
          These senators, the nobles
          And you.
          A long beat. All are silent, watching her spin her web.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          58.

                         VOLUMNIA
          I prithee now, my son,
          Go and say to them
          Thou art their soldier, and being bred in

                         BROILS
          Has not the soft way
          In asking their good loves; but thou wilt

                         FRAME
          Thyself, forsooth, hereafter theirs.

                         MENENIUS
          This but done, even as she speaks,
          Why their hearts were yours.

                         VOLUMNIA
          Prithee now,
          Go, and be ruled...
          (laughing to him)
          Although I know thou hadst rather
          Follow thine enemy in a fiery gulf
          Than flatter him in a bower.
          Coriolanus smiles. A genuinely sweet moment between them.
          Cominius enters with several other political supporters.

                         COMINIUS
          Sir, it is fit
          You make strong party, or defend yourself
          By calmness or by absence. All's in
          anger.

                         MENENIUS
          Only fair speech.

                         COMINIUS
          I think it will serve, if he
          Can thereto frame his spirit.

                         VOLUMNIA
          He must -- and will.

                         (TO CORIOLANUS)
          Prithee now, say you will, and go about
          it.

                         CORIOLANUS

                         MUST I
          With base tongue give my noble heart
          A lie that it must bear? . Well, I will
          do it.
          But he is still agitated. Volumnia shares a concerned glance
          with Menenius.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          59.

                         CORIOLANUS

                         (BITTERLY)
          Away, my disposition, and possess me
          Some harlot's spirit. A beggar's tongue
          Make motion through my lips, and my armed
          knees,
          Who bowed but in my stirrup, bend like

                         HIS
          That hath charity received!
          The thought of begging is too much, he rejects it, breaking

                         AWAY:

                         CORIOLANUS
          I will not do it!
          Lest I cease to honor mine own truth
          And by my body's action teach my mind
          A most inherent baseness.
          Volumnia snarls at him, exasperated, building to a thunder
          that dwarfs his:

                         VOLUMNIA
          At thy choice, then!
          To beg of thee, it is my more dishonor
          Than thou of them. Come all to ruin! Let
          Thy mother rather feel thy pride than

                         FEAR
          Thy dangerous stoutness, for I mock at

                         DEATH
          With as biq heart as thou! Do as you
          like!
          The words echo.
          It is as if he has been slapped. His resolve vanishes.

                         CORIOLANUS
          Pray, be content...
          Mother, I am going, chide me no more.
          He awaits her approval.
          She will not yet grant it.

                         CORIOLANUS
          Look, I am going...
          Commend me to my wife. I'll return
          Consul,
          Or never trust to what my tongue can do
          In the way of flattery further.
          She graciously bows to him.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          60.

                         VOLUMNIA
          Do your will.
          Then she kisses him.
          And she goes.
          Like a queen. Volumnia triumphant. Always.
          Then a shocking hard cut to:

          INT. TELEVISION STUDIO - DAY

          A crowded TV studio. The audience stands are filling up.
          Television cameras. Lights. Heavy security.
          On the stage: the set for a chat show. Translight of a city
          skyline behind the set. Two standing microphones.
          At the side of the set, Sicinius and Brutus are conspiring
          with the two citizen activists, Cassius and Tamora:

                         BRUTUS

                         (TO SICINIUS)
          In this point charge him home: that he

                         AFFECTS
          Tyrannical power. If he evade us there,
          Enforce him with his envy to the people.

                         SICINIUS

                         (TO TAMORA)
          Have you a catalogue
          Of all the voices that we have procured
          Set down by the poll?

                         TAMORA
          I have; it's ready.

                         SICINIUS
          When the people hear me say "It shall be

                         SO
          In the right and strength of the
          Commons," be it either
          For death, for fine, or banishment, then
          let them,
          If I say "Fine," cry "Fine!" - if
          "Death," cry "Death!"

                         TAMORA
          We shall inform them.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         61
          Cassius and Tamora hurry off to instruct and manipulate the
          crowd as best they can. They mix with the audience in the
          stands.

                         MEANWHILE--
          A gloomy but resolved Coriolanus walks with Cominius and
          Menenius between the tiers of audience, on the way to the
          set.

                         COMINIUS

                         ARM YOURSELF
          To answer mildly, for they are prepared
          With accusations, as I hear, more strong
          Than are upon you yet.

                         CORIOLANUS
          The word is "mildly." Pray you, let us
          go.
          Let them accuse me by invention, I
          Will answer in mine honor.

                         MENENIUS
          Ay, but mildly.

                         CORIOLANUS
          Well, mildly be it then. Mildly!
          Coriolanus steels himself as they emerge from between the
          stands and head toward the set.
          TV news crews are waiting. Blinding lights snap on.
          The crowd, on seeing Coriolanus, lets out a ROAR. Deafening
          and savage.
          We see Cassius and Tamora moving through the crowd,
          instigating, convincing, imploring.
          Coriolanus ignores it all. Imperious to the end.
          Brutus and Sicinius wait on the set.

                         BRUTUS
          (whispers to Sicinius)
          Put him to choler straight.
          Coriolanus and his supporters move to the stage. Coriolanus
          glares at the Tribunes. The TV crews take up position.
          Menenius gestures for Coriolanus to step to the microphone,
          whispering to him:

                         

                         

                         

                         

          62.

                         MENENIUS
          Calmly, I do beseech you.
          Coriolanus steps to the microphone.
          Brutus gestures for the crowd to quiet down.
          We see bits of this scene through the monitors on the TV
          cameras.
          When the crowd is silent, Coriolanus begins to make a

                         REHEARSED SPEECH:

                         CORIOLANUS
          The honored gods--
          But his voice echoes badly with reverb. Menenius adjusts the
          microphone. Coriolanus begins again, quickly and by rote:

                         CORIOLANUS
          The honored gods
          Keep Rome in safety, and the chairs of

                         JUSTICE
          Supplied with worthy men. Plant love
          among us.
          Throng our large temples with the shows
          of peace,
          And not our streets with war.

                         COMINIUS
          Amen, amen.

                         MENENIUS
          A noble wish.
          His boilerplate speech over, Coriolanus turns to Sicinius who
          is at the other standing microphone:

                         CORIOLANUS
          Shall I be charged no further than this
          present?
          Must all determine here?

                         SICINIUS
          I do demand,
          If you submit you to the people's voices.

                         CORIOLANUS
          I am content.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          63.

          INT. VILLA -- LIVING ROOM - DAY

          Volumnia watches the proceedings closely on TV. She is
          pleased with her son's performance so far.

          INT. TELEVISION STUDIO - DAY

          Menenius, ever the People's Friend, steps to the microphone:

                         MENENIUS
          Lo, citizens, he says he is content.
          The warlike service he has done,

                         CONSIDER; THINK
          Upon the wounds his body bears, which

                         SHOW
          Like graves in the holy churchyard.

                         CORIOLANUS
          (uncomfortable with this)
          Scratches with briers,
          Scars to move laughter only.

          INT. APARTMENT - DAY

          Aufidius sits with several of his officers, leaning forward,
          watching the drama unfold on TV.

          INT. TELEVISION STUDIO - DAY


                         MENENIUS
          Consider further,
          That when he speaks not like a citizen,
          You find him like a soldier. Do not take
          His rougher accents for malicious sounds,
          But, as I say, such as become a soldier.
          Coriolanus cuts in, his impatience getting the better of him:

                         CORIOLANUS
          What is the matter
          That being passed for Consul with full
          voice,
          I am so dishonored that the very hour
          You take it off again?

                         SICINIUS
          We charge you that you have contrived to

                         TAKE
          From Rome all seasoned office, and to

                         WIND
          Yourself into a power tyrannical

                         (MORE)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          64.

                         SICINIUS (CONT'D)
          (the coup de grace)
          For which you are a traitor to the
          people.
          Coriolanus responds, a cobra striking:

                         CORIOLANUS
          How? Traitor?!

                         MENENIUS

                         (ALARMED)
          Nay, temperately! Your promise.

                         CORIOLANUS
          The fires in the lowest hell fold in the
          people!
          Call me their traitor, thou injurious
          Tribune!

                         SICINIUS

                         (CALLING)
          Mark you this, people?!
          The crowd responds, egged on by Cassius and Tamora. A murmur
          of voices, a chant growing, "Traitor traitor
          traitor..."
          Brutus cleverly plays the reasonable voice, knowing his words
          will further rile Coriolanus:

                         BRUTUS
          But since he hath
          Served well for Rome--

                         CORIOLANUS

                         (SNAPS)
          What do you prate of service?

                         BRUTUS
          I talk of that, that know it.

                         CORIOLANUS
          You?!
          I'll know no further.
          Let them pronounce death, exile,
          Flaying, pent to linger
          But with a grain a day - I would not buy
          Their mercy at the price of one fair
          word!

                         

                         

                         

                         

          65.

          INT. VILLA -- LIVING ROOM - DAY

          Volumnia watches, alarmed now. She knows this rage will prove
          to be disastrous for her son.

          INT. TELEVISION STUDIO - DAY

          Sicinius seizes the moment to destroy Coriolanus, barking
          into the microphone:

                         SICINIUS
          In the name of the people
          And in the power of us the Tribunes, we,
          Even from this instant, banish him our
          city!
          In the people's name,
          I say IT SHALL BE SO!
          Well-rehearsed by Cassius and Tamora, many in the crowd
          respond with a fierce cry:

                         CROWD
          It shall be so! It shall be so! Let him
          away!

                         TAMORA
          He's banished! IT SHALL BE SO!

                         CROWD
          It shall be so! It shall be so! It shall
          be so...!
          Cassius and Tamora keep the crowd at a fever pitch--
          They keep chanting and railing--
          A building seismic rumble--

                         COMINIUS

                         (STEPPING FORWARD)
          Hear me, my masters, and my common
          friends--!

                         SICINIUS
          He's sentenced. No more hearing.

                         COMINIUS
          Let me speak!
          The crowd's fury is building--
          It is all about to erupt--

                         

                         

                         

                         

          66.

                         BRUTUS
          There's no more to be said, but he is

                         BANISHED
          As enemy to the people and his country.

          IT SHALL BE SO!

                         CROWD
          It shall be so! It shall be so! It shall
          be so...!

                         AND THEN--

                         CORIOLANUS EXPLODES--
          His rage is volcanic--
          He SLAMS the standing microphone away--
          His dragon's ROAR silences the entire studio--

                         CORIOLANUS

          YOU COMMON CRY OF CURS!
          A collective intake of breath--
          The crowd is stunned--

                         CORIOLANUS
          Whose breath I hate
          As reek of the rotten fens, whose loves I

                         PRIZE
          As the dead carcasses of unburied men
          That do corrupt my air...
          (each word an attack)

          I BANISH YOU!
          The crowd is silent. No one dares to even breathe.
          AT THE VILLA: Volumnia watches, frozen, breathless.
          IN THE APARTMENT: Aufidius stands, riveted.

          BACK IN THE STUDIO:

                         CORIOLANUS
          Here remain with your uncertainty.
          Let every feeble rumor shake your hearts!
          Your enemies, with nodding of their
          plumes,
          Fan you into despair! Have the power

                         STILL
          To banish your defenders, till at length
          Your ignorance - which finds not till it
          feels,

                         (MORE)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          67.

                         CORIOLANUS (CANT'D)
          Making but reservation of yourselves;
          Still your own foes - deliver you
          As most abated captives to some nation
          That won you without blows!
          A beat.
          The TV cameras hum. The crowd is silent.
          Menenius and the others watch in amazement.
          Coriolanus slowly takes one last, long look at the people of
          Rome.

                         THEN:

                         CORIOLANUS
          Despising,
          For you, the city, thus I turn my back.
          He turns and slowly walks toward one of the tunnels leading
          from the studio.
          The crowd follows every step with their eyes.
          He stops.
          Turns back.
          Steel.

                         CORIOLANUS
          There is a world elsewhere.
          And he goes down the tunnel.
          Disappearing from view.
          A silent beat.
          Then, a chilling cry of absolutely Jacobin bloodlust from the

                         STANDS:

                         TAMORA
          The people's enemy is gone!
          The crowd SCREAMS their approval.
          The SAVAGE CRY echoes around the studio.
          The echoing roar takes us to...

                         

                         

                         

                         

          68.

          EXT. WASTELAND CHECKPOINT - DAWN

          The outskirts of Rome are an urban wasteland. Abandoned
          factories. Rusting cars. Overgrown vacant lots. Collapsing
          advertising billboards.
          There is a lonely gas station in the distance, its neon sign
          glowing a lurid green in the gray dawn light.
          We are at a Roman checkpoint on the highway into the city. A
          guardhouse and barrier. Some barbed wire barricades. Bored
          soldiers.
          Several cars pull up to the checkpoint. Two Roman security
          SUVs. Menenius' familiar limousine. And Volumnia's enormous
          Bentley.
          Security Guards climb out of their vehicle, light cigarettes
          and chat with the soldiers manning the checkpoint. Menenius,
          Titus and Cominius climb from Menenius' limousine.

          INT. VOLUMNIA'S BENTLEY - DAWN

          Meanwhile, inside the Bentley, Coriolanus is comforting his
          wife and mother:

                         CORIOLANUS

                         (TO VIRGILIA)
          Come, leave your tears. A brief farewell.

                         THE BEAST
          With many heads butts me away.

                         VIRGILIA

                         0 HEAVENS 0 HEAVENS
          Volumnia has tears in her eyes as well. Coriolanus is
          surprisingly unsentimental and tough with her:

                         CORIOLANUS
          Nay, mother,
          Where is your ancient courage?

                         VOLUMNIA
          Now the red pestilence strike all trades
          in Rome,
          And occupations perish!

                         CORIOLANUS
          Nay, mother, I shall be loved when I am
          lacked.
          She nods to him, she has regained her composure.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          69.
          Only then do they climb from the car.

          EXT. WASTELAND CHECKPOINT - DAWN

          Coriolanus takes his leave:

                         CORIOLANUS

                         (EMBRACING TITUS)
          Bid me farewell.

                         TITUS
          Farewell, Martius.

                         CORIOLANUS

                         (EMBRACING COMINIUS)
          Cominius, droop not, adieu.
          I'll do well yet.
          He goes to Menenius, who is genuinely distraught. For all his
          political machinations, he truly cares for Coriolanus.
          Coriolanus is moved to see Menenius so emotional.

                         CORIOLANUS
          Thou old and true Menenius,
          Thy tears are salter than a younger
          man's,
          And venomous to thine eyes.

                         MENENIUS

                         (DEEPLY)
          If I could shake off but seven years
          I'd go with thee every foot.
          They embrace.
          Then Coriolanus knows it is time to go. He picks up a
          traveling bag and slings it over his shoulder.
          Looks back at his friends and family.
          A beat.
          A certain darkness creeps into his expression. An ominous
          resolve.

                         CORIOLANUS
          You shall hear from me still.
          He turns and looks to the distance.
          Miles and miles of wasteland and desolation.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          70.
          His future.

                         CORIOLANUS
          I go alone,
          Like to a lonely dragon.
          He strides off.
          The soldiers manning the checkpoint raise the barrier.
          Coriolanus walks under it. And begins walking down the long
          highway away from Rome.
          The only sound is the cold, lonely moan of the wind.
          We fade to...

          EXT./INT. EXILE SEQUENCE - DAY/NIGHT

          Coriolanus' exile.
          We see his long odyssey. It is a grueling physical journey --
          and also something of a spiritual challenge. He is solitary
          and without comfort: vulnerable to the elements and also to
          the demons of his own psyche.
          We see him as...
          He walks along the barren highway. Trash piled along the
          road. A car zooms past. Whoosh. He is lost in dust...
          Blazing heat, like a furnace, as he trudges over desert
          terrain. Burning oil wells blacken the sky in the distance...
          Isolated, within himself, as he walks past the detritus of
          war a burned out tank a mountain of rusted artillery
          shells skeletons bleached in the sun...
          His clothes are dusty and dirty now. A sandstorm. He wraps a
          scarf around his head, like a burnoose. Only his eyes visible
          now...
          A gypsy boy in tattered clothing riding a white horse passes
          him. The boy looks at him intently as he passes...
          We get a sense of him moving into different terrain, up into
          a mountain range, climbing...
          Then descending. Pouring rain. Lightning sparking. He is
          almost a Romantic figure now. Byronic. Wrapped in a cloak
          against the wildness of nature; the chiaroscuro flashes of
          light illuminating his haunted eyes...

                         

                         

                         

                         

          71.
          We end at...

          EXT. OUTSIDE ANTIUM - NIGHT

          Coriolanus stands. Like a statue. All his life in his blazing
          eyes. He is staring at a small town in the distance.
          We see a sign: ANTIUM.
          His destination since he began. The home of his nemesis, the
          hated Aufidius.
          He begins to walk to the town.

          INT. POLITICO BAR - DAY

          Meanwhile, back in Rome, Brutus and Sicinius are having lunch
          at their usual hangout.
          They see Volumnia entering the restaurant, pulling Virgilia
          after her. An ambush. She heads toward the Tribunes.
          Volumnia's eyes have the grim intensity of a predator. She
          looks strangely wild.

                         BRUTUS
          Here comes his mother.

                         SICINIUS
          (prepares to go)
          Let's not meet her. They say she's mad.
          Volumnia stalks up to them:

                         VOLUMNIA
          0, you're well met. The hoarded plague of

                         THE GODS
          Requite your love!
          The Tribunes try to leave, she won't let them:

                         VOLUMNIA
          Will you be gone?

                         VIRGILIA
          You shall stay too. I would I had the

                         POWER
          To say so to my husband.

                         SICINIUS
          Are you mad?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          72.

                         VOLUMNIA
          Ay, fool, is that a shame? Note but this,

                         FOOL:
          Hadst thou craft
          To banish him that struck more blows for

                         ROME
          Than thou hast spoken words?

                         SICINIUS
          (trying to escape)
          0 blessed heavens...
          Volumnia is creating a scene. Heads are turning.
          She continues her attack on Sicinius, but is distracted and

                         JUMBLED:

                         VOLUMNIA
          More noble blows than ever thou wise
          words,
          And for Rome's good. I'll tell thee what -

                         YET GO--
          Nay -- but thou shalt stay too -- I would

                         MY SON
          Were in Arabia, and thy tribe before him,
          His good sword in his hand.

                         SICINIUS
          What then?

                         VIRGILIA
          What then?
          He'd make an end of thy posterity.

                         VOLUMNIA
          Bastards and all.
          Menenius has entered the bar, seeing the trouble he goes to
          them, tries to calm Volumnia:

                         MENENIUS
          Come, come, peace...

                         BRUTUS
          Pray, let us go.
          He tries to leave the bar. Volumnia stops him for final
          attack, something like a curse in its power:

                         VOLUMNIA
          Now, pray, sir, get you gone.
          You have done a brave deed. Ere you go,

                         HEAR THIS:

                         (GRABS VIRGILIA)

                         (MORE)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          73.

                         VOLUMNIA (CONT'D)
          This lady's husband here, this, do you
          see?!--
          Whom you have banished, does exceed you
          all.

                         BRUTUS
          Well, well, we'll leave you.

                         SICINIUS
          Why stay we to be baited
          With one that wants her wits?

                         VOLUMNIA
          I would the gods had nothing else to do
          But to confirm my curses!
          Menenius gently restrains Volumnia and the Tribunes finally
          escape the bar.
          Volumnia takes a breath, controls herself.

                         VOLUMNIA
          Could I meet 'em
          But once a day, it would unclog my heart
          Of what lies heavy to it.

                         MENENIUS
          You have told them home;
          And, by my troth, you have cause. You'll
          sup with me?
          She turns to him. A cold and killing fire in her eyes.

                         VOLUMNIA
          Anger's my meat. I sup upon myself,
          And so shall starve with feeding.
          She takes Virgilia's hand and drags her out.
          Menenius watches. Saddened.
          Once proud Volumnia, reduced to this.

          EXT. ANTIUM - NIGHT

          Antium is an old Volscian city gone to seed. It is Latin in
          flavor, something like Havana.
          There is life to the place, a certain humid vitality. Someone
          is singing in a bar. Old men are playing dominos on a patio.
          Flickering TV and radio babel from terraced apartment
          buildings.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          74.
          Coriolanus, his face still shrouded in the burnoose, like a
          Hamas soldier, moves through the streets.
          He takes in the life of the town as he walks. Studying the
          faces of the Volscians around him.
          Coriolanus sees a heavily-guarded apartment building at the
          end of the street. Jeeps and SOLDIERS.
          Coriolanus approaches with stealth, moving in and out of
          shadows along the street, ducking into doorways and alleys,
          taking advantage of the darkness.
          He stops. Steps into the shadows. For he sees...
          Aufidius.
          Walking with a few of his officers.
          Aufidius is beloved in Antium. He has an easy manner with the
          people. He stops and chats. Laughs with them. He dances for a
          moment with a little girl.
          Coriolanus watches from the shadows, his expression complex.
          There is real envy . Aufidius has such a comfortable way
          with the common people, he's natural, unaffected.
          Aufidius jokes with the little girl's parents for a moment
          and then moves on.
          Coriolanus watches Aufidius and his men go into an apartment
          building.
          He scans the building with the eye of a Special Forces
          soldier. He sees that the soldiers guarding the building are
          bored, it is perfunctory work.
          Two YOUNG WOMEN, perhaps hookers, move past the front of the
          building, flirting with the soldiers. The soldiers call and
          whistle to them, delighted.
          Coriolanus uses this distraction to slip into the shadows
          behind the soldiers and sneak into the building...

          INT. APARTMENT BUILDING-CORRIDOR - NIGHT

          Coriolanus moves again with stealth, heading toward what is
          clearly the center of the action: a noisy room on the second
          floor.
          The doorway is guarded by two serious GUARDS. These are not
          the bored soldiers out front, these are grim and intense
          warriors.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          75.
          Coriolanus considers his course.
          Decides. Takes a breath. Focuses.
          He is like ice now.

                         HE MOVES--
          A steady stride--
          He walks right up to the Guards--
          Before they can even respond--
          He punches one HARD in the throat -- the Guard recoils,
          gasping for air--
          Simultaneously, Coriolanus SLAMS his other hand violently
          over the entire face of the second Guard -- grabbing his face
          firmly and SHOVING him back into the door--
          So hard that the door slams aside--
          And Coriolanus shoves the Guard into--

          INT. AUFIDIUS' CHAMBER - NIGHT

          Aufidius is having dinner with some of his men, their wives
          and some children--
           The soldiers bolt up, upsetting the table, smashing dishes --
          pulling guns -- alarmed--
          As Coriolanus powers in, still holding the second Guard by

                         THE FACE--
          He flings the Guard aside--
          Aufidius and his men, all pointing weapons at Coriolanus, are
          stunned.
          A long beat.
          Coriolanus' face is still masked by the burnoose. Only his
          cold eyes are visible.

                         AUFIDIUS
          Whence comes thou? What wouldst thou? Thy
          name?
          Coriolanus does not respond.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          76.
          Aufidius is growing uneasy. His men are tense, ready to open
          fire at any second.

                         AUFIDIUS
          Speak, man! What's thy name?

                         CORIOLANUS
          A name unmusical to the Volscians' ears,
          And harsh in sound to thine.
          The other Guard from outside, and several other soldiers,
          rush in. Weapons drawn, surrounding Coriolanus.
          He doesn't move a muscle.
          Aufidius, intrigued by the stranger's courage, waves his men
          off.

                         AUFIDIUS
          Say, what's thy name?
          Thou has a grim appearance .What's thy
          name?

                         CORIOLANUS
          Know'st thou me yet?

                         AUFIDIUS
          I know thee not Thy name?
          Finally, Coriolanus removes his burnoose. His face is
          exposed. The Volscians are stunned.

                         CORIOLANUS
          My name is Caius Martius, who hath done
          To thee particularly and to all the

                         VOLSCES
          Great hurt and mischief; thereto witness

                         MAY
          My surname Coriolanus.
          The Volscians look to Aufidius, very nervous, unsure how to
          proceed. Aufidius just stares back at Coriolanus, staggered.

                         CORIOLANUS
          Only that name remains.
          Aufidius doesn't understand. Coriolanus explains:

                         CORIOLANUS
          The cruelty and envy of the people,
          Who have all forsook me, hath devoured
          the rest,
          And suffered me by the voice of slaves to

                         BE

                         (MORE)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          77.

                         CORIOLANUS (CANT'D)
          Whooped out of Rome. Now this extremity
          Hath brought me to thy hearth, not out of

                         HOPE -
          Mistake me not - to save my life; for if
          I had feared death, of all the men in the

                         WORLD
          I would have avoided thee, but in mere
          spite,
          To be full quit of those my banishers,
          Stand I before thee here.
          Coriolanus dares to take a step toward Aufidius--
          The Volscians react. Guns are raised, fingers tight on
          triggers, an instant from opening fire--
          Coriolanus carefully holds out his arms. He's unarmed.
          Aufidius nods to his men. They hold their fire.
          Coriolanus slowly crosses the room toward Aufidius. Step by
          step. Their eyes are locked. Nothing else in the world
          exists.

                         CORIOLANUS
          I will fight
          Against my cankered country with the

                         SPLEEN
          Of all the under fiends. But if thou
          Dares not this, then I present
          My throat to thee and to thy ancient
          malice...
          Coriolanus stops right in front of Aufidius and slowly,
          carefully, undoes his collar. Exposing his naked throat.
          Bending back his head.
          Ready for execution.

                         CORIOLANUS
          Which not to cut would show thee but
          a fool,
          Since I have ever followed thee with
          hate,
          And cannot live but to thy shame unless
          It be to do thee service.
          A long beat.
          Aufidius stares at Coriolanus.
          The Volscians watch, eyes wide, too tense to do anything now.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          78.
          Aufidius just continues to stare at Coriolanus.
          Eyes locked.
          Coriolanus blinks some sweat from his eyes. This tiny, human
          response sparks something in Aufidius.

                         AUFIDIUS
          O Martius Martius
          Each word thou hast spoke hath weeded
          from my heart
          A root of ancient envy.
          He offers his hand.
          Coriolanus takes it. Aufidius continues to hold him by the
          hand, rather intensely, speaking low:

                         AUFIDIUS
          Let me twine
          Mine arms about that body.
          He embraces Coriolanus.
          Aufidius' men finally relax. Weapons are lowered. Relieved
          glances exchanged.
          Some of the Volscians, though, are clearly suspicious of
          Coriolanus. They watch Aufidius and Coriolanus, concerned.
          Aufidius still can't quite believe his ancient enemy is now
          his newest ally.

                         AUFIDIUS

                         KNOW THOU
          I loved the maid I married; never man
          Sighed truer breath. But that I see thee
          here,
          Thou noble thing, more dances my rapt

                         HEART
          Than when I first my wedded mistress saw
          Bestride my threshold.
          Coriolanus glances to him, perhaps a little disturbed or
          embarrassed by the intensity of Aufidius' words.
          Aufidius steps away from him, gestures for Coriolanus to sit.

                         AUFIDIUS
          Why, thou Mars, I tell thee,
          We have a power on foot, and I had

                         PURPOSE
          Once more to hew thy target from thy
          brawn,

                         (MORE)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          79.

                         AUFIDIUS (CONT'D)
          Or lose mine arm for it. Thou hast beat

                         ME OUT
          Twelve several times, and I have nightly

                         SINCE
          Dreamt of encounters 'twixt thyself and
          me.
          Aufidius continues quietly, almost whispering:

                         AUFIDIUS
          Worthy Martius,
          Had we no quarrel else to Rome, but that
          Thou art thence banished, we would muster

                         ALL
          From twelve to seventy, and, pouring war
          Into the bowels of ungrateful Rome,
          Like a bold flood, overbear it.

          INT. SHOWER ROOM - NIGHT

          Coriolanus sits, naked. He has finally washed off the layers
          of dirt from his journey.
          An old woman is using an electric razor to shave his head.
          Aufidius is standing in the doorway to the room. Watching.
          His eyes move over Coriolanus' body, adding up the scars and
          wounds.
          A pause.
          Then Aufidius goes to the old woman. Takes the razor from
          her. She goes.
          Aufidius continues to shave Coriolanus' head himself.
          It is a deeply personal act, even intimate Yet Aufidius
          employs the same methodical rhythms as when he was sharpening
          his knife at the opening of the story.

          INT. APARTMENT BUILDING-WAR ROOM - NIGHT

          The Volscian military command center. Maps, recon photos and
          radio equipment. Stacks of grenade launchers and arms.
          Aufidius' CAPTAINS and AIDES wait alongside some bedraggled
          Volsce POLITICIANS in ill-fitting suits.
          Aufidius ushers Coriolanus in:

                         

                         

                         

                         

          80.

                         AUFIDIUS
          0, come, go in,
          And take our friendly senators by the
          hands.
          Coriolanus shakes hands with the politicians:

                         CORIOLANUS
          You bless me, gods.
          Then Aufidius takes him to a huge military map laid out on a
          pool table. Rome and her territories. Strategic markers
          denote Roman forces and Volscian forces.

                         AUFIDIUS
          Therefore, most absolute sir, if thou

                         WILT HAVE
          The leading of thine own revenges, take
          The one half of my commission.
          The Volscian soldiers and politicos are shocked. Aufidius is
          giving Coriolanus command of half his forces!

                         AUFIDIUS
          And set down---
          As best thou art experienced, since thou

                         KNOWS
          Thy country's strength and weakness---
          thine own ways,
          Whether to knock against the gates of
          Rome,
          Or rudely visit them in parts remote,
          To fright them ere destroy.
          Aufidius looks at Coriolanus hard. There it is. The gauntlet
          is thrown down. Coriolanus will have to completely betray
          Rome: expose her military weaknesses, tell her secrets.
          For all his neurotic intensity, Aufidius is a shrewd man.
          Coriolanus nods and turns to the battle map, moving various
          markers around to show Rome's defensive positions.
          Aufidius watches him with Machiavellian calm.

          INT. POLITICO BAR - DAY

          Several weeks later, back in Rome, politics go on as usual.
          Menenius is passing the Tribunes' table. They josh with him:

                         BRUTUS
          Is this Menenius?

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         81

                         SICINIUS
          'Tis he,'tis he! 0, he is grown most kind
          of late. Hail sir!

                         MENENIUS
          Hail to you both.

                         SICINIUS

                         YOUR CORIOLANUS
          Is not much missed, but with his friends.

                         MENENIUS
          All's well, and might have been much

                         BETTER IF
          He could have temporized.

                         SICINIUS
          Where is he, hear you?

                         MENENIUS
          Nay, I hear nothing. His mother and his

                         WIFE
          Hear nothing from him.

                         BRUTUS
          Caius Martius was
          A worthy officer in the war, but
          insolent,
          Overcome with pride, ambitious past all
          thinking,

                         SELF-LOVING--

                         MENENIUS
          I think not so.

                         SICINIUS
          And Rome sits safe and still without him.
          They are distracted when people begin talking loudly,
          alarmed, at the bar. They hush each other and watch the TV
          over the bar. Something has happened.
          On the TV: a SPECIAL REPORT. Breaking News. A scroll across
          the bottom of the screen reads "The Volscians On The March?"

                         TV ANCHORMAN

                         (ON TV)
          Reports the Volsces with two several

                         POWERS
          Are entered in the Roman territories,
          And with the deepest malice of the war
          Destroy what lies before them...

                         

                         

                         

                         

          82.
          The whole bar is growing quiet now. All watching the TV,
          which shows grainy indistinct images -- like cell phone
          pictures -- of troops and tanks.

                         MENENIUS
          'Tis Aufidius,
          Who, hearing of our Martius' banishment,
          Thrusts forth his horns again into the
          world.

                         SICINIUS

                         (NERVOUS)
          Come, what talk you of Martius?

                         BRUTUS
          It cannot be the Volsces dare break with
          us.

                         TV ANCHORMAN

                         (ON TV)
          The nobles in great earnestness are going
          All to the Senate House. Some news is

                         COMING
          That turns their countenances...
          (he listens to his ear
          piece for a second)
          Yes, the first report is seconded, and
          more,
          More fearful, is delivered.
          The TV picture switches to a flustered TV REPORTER outside
          the Senate. A lot of nervous activity behind him.

                         TV REPORTER

                         (ON TV)
          It is spoke freely out of many mouths -
          How probable I do not know - that Martius
          Has ioined with Aufidius--
          There is an audible gasp in the bar -- quickly silenced and
          hushed so all can hear the TV:

                         TV REPORTER

                         (ON TV)
          --He leads a power against Rome,
          And vows revenge as spacious as between
          The youngest and oldest thing.
          Something close to terror on the faces of the politicos.
          Menenius, without a word, goes.
          He does not want to believe this is possible.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          83.

          INT. VILLA -- BEDROOM - NIGHT

          Virgilia lies on her bed.
          On the TV an imbedded WAR CORRESPONDENT is giving an update,
          intercut with shaky and unclear images of the Volscian army
          on the move:

          TV WAR CORRESPONDENT

                         (ON TV)
          A fearful army, led by Caius Martius
          Associated with Aufidius, rages
          Upon our territories, and have already
          Overborne their way, consumed with fire,

                         AND TOOK
          What lay before them.

          INT. VILLA -- LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

          Volumnia sits, almost frozen, smoking, watching the TV. Her
          emotions are deep and dark.
          Her son, to her the model of all Roman virtues, has betrayed
          his country.

          TV WAR CORRESPONDENT

                         (ON TV)
          Martius has joined with the Volscians -
          He is their god. He leads them like
          Boys pursuing summer butterflies
          Or butchers killing flies.
          Close up on Volumnia's face.
          She gives away practically nothing.
          She takes a slow drag on her cigarette.

          EXT. VOLSCIAN CAMP - DAY

          Urban industrial wasteland. Old factories and abandoned
          warehouses. Broken asphalt. Smashed windows.
          The Volscians have set up camp here. On the decaying fringes
          of the city. We see military hardware. Guns. Missile
          launchers. Armored vehicles.
          Soldiers are cleaning weapons, cooking meals, sleeping,
          playing video games.
          Then...

                         

                         

                         

                         

          84.
          An incongruous sight...
          An old barber chair floats past. Moving across the blue sky.
          Carried overhead by a group of Volscian soldiers.
          But there is something different about these Volscian
          soldiers. They have altered their uniforms into something
          pagan and primitive. All have shaved heads. Many have face
          tattoos or wear striking war paint.
          It is like something from LORD OF THE FLIES.
          They set the barber chair down outside an abandoned factory.
          This shattered and abandoned factory is Coriolanus' domain.
          It is decorated with human skulls.
          The CAMP BARBER, a fat man in a greasy butcher's apron,
          begins to strop his razor.
          Hard core young soldiers line up to have their heads shaved.
          They are Coriolanus' ACOLYTES.
          There is no sign of Coriolanus himself.
          Aufidius and his LIEUTENANT stand on the fringes, disturbed
          by the strange cult of personality that has grown up around
          Coriolanus.

                         AUFIDIUS
          Do they still fly to Coriolanus?

                         LIEUTENANT
          I do not know what witchcraft's in him,

                         BUT
          Your soldiers use him as the grace before
          meat,
          Their talk at table, and their thanks at
          end.
          And you are darkened in this action, sir.

                         AUFIDIUS
          He bears himself more proud,
          Even to my person, than I thought he

                         WOULD
          When first I did embrace him.
          They turn and walk to the building where Aufidius is

                         QUARTERED:

                         LIEUTENANT
          Sir, I beseech you, think you he'll carry
          Rome?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          85.

                         AUFIDIUS

                         (GRIM)
          I think he'll be to Rome
          As is the osprey to the fish, who takes

                         IT
          By sovereignty of nature.
          Aufidius nods to the guards outside his quarters and enters
          with his Lieutenant...

          INT. VOLSCIAN CAMP-AUFIDIUS' QUARTERS - DAY

          A shattered building. Old graffiti on the walls. Weapons.
          Maps. Aufidius' gear.
          Aufidius sits on his cot, deep in thought.
          He pulls a folded bit of paper from his pocket. Carefully and
          lovingly unfolds it. He has been carrying this paper for
          months.
          We realize it is the glossy magazine cover with the picture
          of Coriolanus that Aufidius tore out earlier.
          He gazes at the picture, his fingers smoothing the paper,
          tracing the contours of Coriolanus' face...

                         AUFIDIUS
          Whether t'was pride,
          Whether defect of judgement,
          Or whether nature,
          Not to be other than one thing,
          Made him feared,
          So hated, and so banished.
          A beat as he studies the picture.
          His lieutenant watches him closely, disturbed by Aufidius'
          obsession with Coriolanus.

                         AUFIDIUS
          So our virtues
          Lie in the interpretation of the time.
          He brings the picture closer, whispering now:

                         AUFIDIUS
          One fire drives out one fire; one nail,

                         ONE NAIL;
          Rights by rights founder, strengths by
          strengths do fail
          And when, Caius, Rome is thine,

                         (MORE)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          86.

                         AUFIDIUS (CONT'D)
          Thou art poorest of all -- then shortly
          art thou mine.

          INT. ROMAN WAR ROOM - DAY

          Rome is at war now, so the room is busy and tense. Maps and
          video footage chart the enemy's progress. Soldiers confer
          urgently outside the door.
          Menenius stands with the two Tribunes, Brutus and Sicinius.
          With them are several SENATORS and GENERALS.
          Menenius snaps angrily:

                         MENENIUS
          No, I'll not go!

                         SICINIUS

                         (IMPLORING)

                         GOOD MENENIUS--

                         MENENIUS
          Go, you that banished him!
          A mile before his tent fall down, and

                         KNEE
          The way into his mercy.
          They stop when Titus enters with General Cominius.
          Titus is dusty, has just come from somewhere. He is pale.
          Truly shaken.
          Menenius and the others crowd around him, waiting for his
          report.
          Titus sits, takes a moment to pull himself together, and then
          reports with the grim severity of a death sentence:

                         TITUS
          He would not seem to know me.
          A beat.

                         TITUS
          I urged our old acquaintance, and the

                         DROPS
          That we have bled together. "Coriolanus"
          He would not answer to, forbade all
          names...
          A long beat. They wait for him to go on.
          Titus searches for the words to continue.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          87.

                         TITUS
          He was a kind of nothing.
          (a difficult beat)
          Titleless...
          Till he had forged himself a name in the

                         FIRE
          Of burning Rome.
          He has no more to say, his head drops.
          Menenius begins to leave the room. The Tribunes stop him,
          leading him to a secluded corner:

                         SICINIUS
          If you refuse your aid

                         IN THIS--

                         BRUTUS

                         IF YOU
          Would be your country's pleader, your
          good tongue,
          More than the instant army we can make,
          Might stop our countryman.

                         MENENIUS
          No, I'll not meddle.

                         SICINIUS
          Pray you, go to him.

                         MENENIUS
          What should I do?
          Brutus stops him, with real emotion:

                         BRUTUS
          Only make trial what your love can do
          For Rome towards Martius.

                         MENENIUS
          Well, and say that Martius
          Return me, as Titus is returned,
          Unheard - what then?

                         SICINIUS
          Yet your good will
          Must have that thanks from Rome.
          Menenius thinks about it.

                         BRUTUS
          You know the very road into his kindness,
          And cannot lose your way.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          88.
          Menenius, despite all still a patriot at heart, decides.

                         MENENIUS
          I'll undertake it
          I think he'll hear me.
          The Tribunes are relieved. Cominius nods and escorts Menenius
          out.
          Brutus and Sicinius return to Titus.

                         TITUS
          He'll never hear him.

                         SICINIUS
          No?

                         TITUS
          I tell you, he does sit in gold, his eye
          Red as it would burn Rome.

          EXT. CHECKPOINT-HIGHWAY - DAY

          The Roman checkpoint on the desolate highway. A formidable
          military presence here now: soldiers, heavy weapons, tanks.
          Volscian troops and a jeep can be seen down the highway.
          We see Menenius' limousine pull up.
          He and General Cominius climb out. Menenius is out of place
          in his trim business suit: a politician among soldiers.
          Menenius steels himself then passes through the Roman
          checkpoint.
          He walks down the highway toward the distant Volscian troops.

          EXT. VOLSCIAN CAMP - DAY

          Menenius is blindfolded, roughly pulled by two Volscian
          soldiers.
          We hear some of the soldiers hooting at him. We stay close on
          Menenius' blindfolded face, sharing his feeling of
          disorientation and suspense.
          The Volscians drag him into the abandoned factory--

                         

                         

                         

                         

          89.

          INT. ABANDONED FACTORY - DAY

          Finally his guards stop him and pull off his blindfold--

                         REVEALING-
          Coriolanus. Transformed.
          And terrifying.
          He is no longer Roman. He is not Volscian. He is, as Titus
          said, "a kind of nothing."
          He sits in the barber chair. His head is completely shaved.
          His face is marked with martial face painting. These striking
          totemic markings also cover his scarred body.
          He is primitive. Inhuman. Like a dragon.
          The Angel of Death.
          His young warrior Acolytes -- similarly shaved and painted --
          are gathered around him; his personal bodyguard and cult.
          A long beat as Menenius stares at his friend, stunned at the
          pagan metamorphosis.
          Coriolanus just gazes back at him.
          Menenius finally pulls himself together and approaches, with

                         FULSOME BRAVADO:

                         MENENIUS
          The glorious gods sit in hourly synod
          about thy particular prosperity, and love
          thee no worse than thy old friend
          Menenius does! 0 Martius, Martius!
          He steps forward to hug Coriolanus. Two of the Acolytes stop
          him. He can approach no further.
          Menenius accepts this. No matter. He is completely confident
          he will be able to manipulate his protege. He always has in
          the past.

                         MENENIUS
          Thou art preparing fire for us. Look
          thee, here's water to quench it. I was
          hardly moved to come to thee, but being
          assured none but myself could move
          thee, I have been blown out of your gates
          with sighs, and conjure thee to pardon
          Rome.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          90.
          A long beat.
          Menenius waits for an answer. Grows uneasy.
          Then...

                         CORIOLANUS
          Away.

                         MENENIUS
          How? . Away?

                         CORIOLANUS

                         (ICE)
          Wife mother child I know not.

                         MY AFFAIRS
          Are servanted to others.
          Menenius can't believe this cold response--

                         MENENIUS

                         SIR--

                         CORIOLANUS
          Therefore be gone.
          His frigid eyes slice into Menenius:

                         CORIOLANUS
          Another word, Menenius,
          I will not hear thee speak.
          Menenius stares at him, shaken to the core.
          The Guards pull Menenius away.
          Coriolanus doesn't even glance at him.

          EXT. CHECKPOINT-HIGHWAY - DAY

          Back at the Roman checkpoint, Menenius strides toward his
          limousine. He has been deeply shaken by his interaction with
          the transformed Coriolanus.
          General Cominius follows urgently, Menenius doesn't stop:

                         MENENIUS
          This Martius is grown from man to dragon.
          He has wings; he's more than a creeping
          thing.
          He stops at his limo.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          91.
          A beat.
          He turns back to Cominius. We see the pain in Menenius' eyes.

                         MENENIUS
          There is no more mercy in him than there
          is milk in a male tiger.
          He climbs into his limo. Shuts the door.
          The limousine drives off, sending up a cloud of dust that
          swirls around Cominius.

          INT. MENENIUS' LIMO - DAY

          Menenius sits in the back of his limo as it speeds back to
          Rome.
          The rejection by Coriolanus has wounded him. Also he is
          plagued by guilt. He helped create this monster. He pushed
          Coriolanus into politics. And now Coriolanus has lost his
          soul, even his humanity, and Rome is to be put to the sword.
          All his fault.
          This preys on him.

          EXT. TRAIN TRACKS - DAY

          Menenius' limousine pulls over by an isolated set of railroad
          tracks. Weeds springing up. Battered advertising posters. An
          old chain link fence.
          Menenius climbs out of the car and walks along the tracks.
          Thinking.
          He stops.
          He sits on the railroad tracks.
          Pulls out a little pocket knife and, in the Roman fashion,
          efficiently slits his wrists.
          He stares out over the hideous landscape.
          Blood begins to pool around his stylish shoes.
          From afar we see him, sitting on the railroad tracks, alone
          and forlorn in this surreal urban wasteland, like a Samuel
          Beckett character.
          He slumps over.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          92.
          Menenius is dead.

          INT. ABANDONED FACTORY - SUNSET

          The red glow of dusk is shining through the cracked and dusty
          windows.
          Coriolanus, still in the barber chair, broods silently.
          Aufidius sits nearby, watching him.
          The visit from Menenius is troubling Coriolanus.

                         CORIOLANUS
          My partner in this action,
          You must report to the Volscian lords how

                         PLAINLY
          I have borne this business.
          Aufidius is curiously formal in his response, the
          estrangement he feels toward Coriolanus growing:

                         AUFIDIUS
          Only their ends
          You have respected; stopped your ears

                         AGAINST
          The general suit of Rome; never admitted
          A private whisper, no, not with such

                         FRIENDS
          That thought them sure of you.

                         CORIOLANUS
          This last old man,
          Whom with a cracked heart I have sent to
          Rome,
          Loved me above the measure of a father.
          Shouts and whistles from outside the factory draw their
          attention.

          EXT. VOLSCIAN CAMP - SUNSET

          Volumnia, Virgilia and Young Martius stride past the soldiers
          and mountains of military hardware. Volumnia leads, pulling
          the others by the hand.
          Some of the soldiers whistle. Some spit. Others laugh and
          make lascivious noises. Many just watch with grim dislike.
          Volumnia appears to be completely impervious to the whistles
          and cruel taunts. Her head is high, back straight, eagle eye
          forward. She was never more a Roman patrician.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          93.
          She is magnificent.

          INT. ABANDONED FACTORY - SUNSET

          Coriolanus stands as Volumnia, Virgilia and Young Martius are
          led into the factory.
          He tries to register nothing, assuming a sort of glacial
          calm.
          Volumnia and the others stop -- taking in Coriolanus' savage
          new demeanor and appearance -- taking in the Acolytes and
          pagan totems.
          Volumnia just stands, peering sternly at her son. As if
          daring him not to crumble before her. He doesn't.
          Aufidius watches everything closely.
          It is Virgilia, finally, who bravely approaches:

                         VIRGILIA
          My lord and husband--
          He stop her, almost a warning, with:

                         CORIOLANUS
          These eyes are not the same I wore in
          Rome.

                         VIRGILIA
          The sorrow that delivers us thus changed
          Makes you think so.

                         CORIOLANUS
          Best of my flesh,
          Forgive my tyranny, but do not say
          For that "Forgive our Romans."
          She shows great courage. Stepping forward and kissing him
          deeply. A long kiss.

                         CORIOLANUS
          0, a kiss Long as my exile, sweet as
          my revenge.
          It is a perverse response. In his monomaniacal imagination,
          his wife's kiss is obsessively equated with his revenge on
          Rome.
          He finally moves to Volumnia, simply can't resist her orbital
          pull.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          94.

                         CORIOLANUS
          You gods I prate,
           And the most noble mother of the world
           Leave unsaluted. Sink, my knee, in the
          earth.
           He kneels before her. It is done with a sense of duty and
          protocol, not affection.

                         VOLUMNIA
          0, stand up blest.
          He rises.

                         VOLUMNIA
          Then with no softer cushion than the

                         FLINT
          I kneel before thee.
           She quickly and dramatically kneels before him. It is a coup
          de theatre and a masterpiece of manipulation.

                         CORIOLANUS
          What is this?
          Your knees to me? To your corrected son?

                         VOLUMNIA
          Thou art my warrior;
          I hope to frame thee.
          She indicates Young Martius:

                         VOLUMNIA
          This is a poor epitome of yours,
          Which by the interpretation of full time
          May show like all yourself.

                         CORIOLANUS
          (to his son)
          The god of soldiers,
          Inform thy thoughts with nobleness, that
          thou may prove
          To shame invulnerable.
          Volumnia pulls Young Martius down:

                         VOLUMNIA
          Your knee, sir.
          She pulls Virgilia down:

                         VOLUMNIA
          Even he, your wife, and myself,
          Are suitors to you.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          95.
          All three kneel before Coriolanus. A pitiable sight. But he
          has no pity.
          He turns, sits in the barber chair.

                         CORIOLANUS
          I beseech you, peace!
          Or, if you'd ask, remember this:
          Do not bid me dismiss my soldiers, or

                         CAPITULATE
          Again with Rome's mechanics. Tell me not
          Wherein I seem unnatural. Desire not
          To ally my rages and revenges with
          Your colder reasons.
          Volumnia stands, assuming again a position of strength.

                         VOLUMNIA
          0, no more, no more!
          You have said you will not grant us
          anything,
          For we have nothing else to ask but that
          Which you deny already; yet we will ask,
          That, if you fail in our request, the

                         BLAME
          May hang upon your hardness. Therefore
          hear us.

                         CORIOLANUS
          Aufidius, and you Volsces, mark; for

                         WE'LL
          Hear naught from Rome in private.
          (coldly, to her)
          Your request?

                         VOLUMNIA
          Should we be silent and not speak, our

                         RAIMENT
          And state of bodies would reveal what

                         LIFE
          We have led since thy exile. Think with

                         THYSELF
          How more unfortunate than all living

                         WOMEN
          Are we come hither, since that thy sight,

                         WHICH SHOULD
          Make our eyes flow with joy, hearts dance
          with comforts,
          Constrains them weep and shake with fear
          and sorrow,
          Making the mother, wife, and child to see
          The son, the husband and the father

                         TEARING
          His country's bowels out.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          96.
          Coriolanus' face is a study in aloof neutrality. Yet he is
          listening intensely and Volumnia's words are affecting.
          She fights back emotion. It is impossible to tell if this
          real or feigned.

                         VOLUMNIA
          For myself, son,
          I propose not to wait on fortune till
          These wars determine. If I cannot

                         PERSUADE THEE
          Rather to show a noble grace, thou shalt

                         NO SOONER
          March to assault thy country than to
          Tread on thy mother's womb
          That brought thee to this world.

                         VIRGILIA

                         (STANDS)
          Ay, and mine,
          That brought you forth this boy, to keep

                         YOUR NAME
          Living to time.
          Young Martius stands as well and approaches his father,
          challenging and warlike:

                         YOUNG MARTIUS
          You shall not tread on me.
          I'll run away till I am bigger, but then
          I'll fight!
          Coriolanus stares at him -- the intensity of the boy's
          aggression is disturbing. And familiar.

                         CORIOLANUS
          I have sat too long.
          He rises and turns as if to go--

                         VOLUMNIA
          Nay, go not from us thus!
          Her command stops him. She appeals, quickly getting to the
          point of her argument:

                         VOLUMNIA
          If it were so that our request did tend
          To save the Romans, thereby to destroy
          The Volsces whom you serve, you might

                         CONDEMN US
          As poisonous of your honor. No, our suit
          Is that you reconcile them -- so the

                         VOLSCES

                         (MORE)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          97.

                         VOLUMNIA (CONT'D)
          May say "This mercy we have showed," the
          Romans,
          "This we received," and each in either

                         SIDE
          Give the all-hail to thee and cry, "Be

                         BLEST
          For making up this peace!"
          Coriolanus does not respond.
          She softens...

                         VOLUMNIA
          Speak to me, son...
          Still he does not respond.
          His emotions are roiling.
          Still she is soft and vulnerable...

                         VOLUMNIA
          Why dost not speak?
          But softness is not a note she plays naturally. She knows it.
          Her natural aggressiveness comes out, anger and outrage
          gradually boiling to the surface:

                         VOLUMNIA
          Thinks thou it honorable for a noble man
          Still to remember wrongs? Daughter, speak
          you.
          He cares not for your weeping. Speak
          thou, boy.
          Perhaps thy childishness will move him

                         MORE
          Than can our reasons. There's no man in

                         THE WORLD
          More bound to his mother, yet here he
          lets me prate
          Like one in the stocks!
          She is assaulting him now, on the attack:

                         VOLUMNIA
          Thou hast never in thy life
          Showed thy dear mother any courtesy,
          When she, poor hen,
          Has clucked thee to the wars and safely

                         HOME
          Loaded with honor. Say my request's
          unjust,
          And spurn me back; and the gods will

                         (MORE)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          98.

                         VOLUMNIA (CONT'D)
          plague thee,
          That thou restrains from me the duty

                         WHICH
          To a mother's part belongs!
          Coriolanus can take no more, turns and begins to walk away--
          Volumnia reacts like lightning -- grabbing Virgilia and Young
          Martius and dragging them to the dirt with her--

                         VOLUMNIA
          Down! Let us shame him with our knees!
          She claws at the dirt -- like Hecuba -- keening -- a shocking
          explosion of raw emotion -- almost an incantation:

                         VOLUMNIA
          Down! An end! This is the last. So we
          will home to Rome,
          And die among our neighbors. Nay, behold!
          This boy, that cannot tell what he would

                         HAVE
          But kneels and holds up hands for
          fellowship,
          Does reason our petition with more

                         STRENGTH
          Than thou hast to deny it.
          She remains kneeling, panting for air.
          Coriolanus looks at her. His noble mother. Clawing in the
          dirt like an animal. Filthy. Despairing. Her face wet with
          tears.
          She looks back up at him. She senses she has failed.
          It's over.

                         VOLUMNIA
          Come, let us go.
          She rises slowly, her age showing. Her spirit broken. Or
          seeming so.
          She stares at Coriolanus as she rips off the Roman Eagle
          medal she wears and flings it to the ground.
          The blood red sky of sunset behind her reflects her passion
          as she summons up all her strength for a lacerating and icy

                         FAREWELL:

                         VOLUMNIA
          This fellow had a Volscian to his mother;
          His wife is in Corioles and his child

                         (MORE)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          99.

                         VOLUMNIA (CONT'D)
          Like him by chance Yet give us our
          dispatch.
          I am hushed until our city be afire,
          And then I'll speak a little.
          She turns and begins to go.
          But...
          We see finally Coriolanus crack.
          Like a great building crumbling.
          Like fissures cutting across marble.
          Emotion floods into him.
          He lunges forward and grabs her hand. Volumnia stops.
          Time stands still.
          He doesn't speak.

                         THEN:

                         CORIOLANUS
          O mother mother...
          What have you done?
          He falls to his knees, clutching her hand.

                         CORIOLANUS
          Behold, the heavens do ope,
          The gods look down -- and this unnatural

                         SCENE
          They laugh at.
          He buries his head in her, like a lost child:

                         CORIOLANUS
           O my mother, mother! 0!
           You have won a happy victory for Rome;
           But for your son - believe it, 0 believe
          it! -
          Most dangerously you have with him

                         PREVAILED
          (he looks up at her

                         DEEPLY)
          If not most mortal to him.
          She looks down at him. His meaning, his foreshadowing, is
          clear: she has saved Rome, but he knows he is doomed. Rome
          will live. He will die. This is the price for her victory
          today.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          100.
          She is willing to pay that price. So is he.
          A moment between them.
          He accepts his destiny.

                         CORIOLANUS
          But let it come.
          He stands, regains his composure. He slowly walks to
          Aufidius.
          He leans close, speaking intimately:

                         CORIOLANUS
          Aufidius, though I cannot make true wars,
          I'll frame convenient peace. Now, good
          Aufidius,
          Were you in my stead, would you have

                         HEARD
          A mother less? Or granted less?
          Aufidius?

                         AUFIDIUS

                         (CAREFULLY)
          I was moved withal.

                         CORIOLANUS
          I dare be sworn you were.
          And, sir, it is no little thing to make
          Mine eyes to sweat compassion. But, good
          sir,
          What peace you'll make, advise me.
          We study Aufidius' face. He gives away nothing.
          Coriolanus turns back to Volumnia. Looks at her.
          She is victorious.
          The crimson sky looms over her ominously.
          And we go to...

          INT. FORMAL MINISTRY HALL - DAY

          A solemn peace treaty signing ceremony.
          Coriolanus represents the Volscians. Cominius represents the
          Romans. They sit side-by-side at desks signing the treaty.
          Volumnia and Virgilia, gorgeously dressed, are present. So
          too Brutus and Sicinius. The press films everything.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         101
          It has the stiff formality of a White House ceremony.
          Cominius concludes signing:

                         COMINIUS
          A merrier day did never yet greet Rome,
          No, not the expulsion of the Tarquins.
          We have all
          Great cause to give great thanks.
          He looks to Volumnia.

                         COMINIUS
          Behold our patroness, the life of Rome.
          She is erect and exalted. "The Life of Rome" personified.
          She ignores her son.
          Coriolanus will not look at her.

          EXT. TRUCK STOP - DAY

           A rundown Truck Stop in an industrial wasteland.
          Garish, buzzing neon. Filthy 18-wheelers refueling. Music
          droning from a radio.
          Aufidius, his Lieutenant and seven of his men are waiting
          outside the dusty diner.
          The men with Aufidius are thugs and killers, the most brutal
          Volsces he could find. We note a couple of Coriolanus'
          Acolytes among them. They have turned with great venom on
          their hero.
          They are like a mafia hit squad, waiting for Coriolanus to
          return with the peace treaty.
          Aufidius is deep in thought.
          His Lieutenant breaks the silence:

                         LIEUTENANT
          How is it with our general?

                         AUFIDIUS
          As with a man by his own charity slain.

                         LIEUTENANT
          Our soldiers will remain uncertain whilst
          'Twixt you there's difference; but the

                         (MORE)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          102.

                         LIEUTENANT (CANT'D)
          fall of either
          Makes the survivor heir of all.

                         AUFIDIUS
          I know it,
          And my pretext to strike at him admits
          A good construction.
          A beat. He continues more to himself than them, almost
          convincing himself.

                         AUFIDIUS
          I raised him, and I pawned
          Mine honor for his truth; who being so
          heightened,
          He watered his new plants with dews of
          flattery,
          Seducing so my friends.

                         (BITTERLY)
          At the last
          I seemed his follower, not partner, and
          He waged me with his countenance as if
          I had been mercenary.

                         LIEUTENANT
          So he did, my lord.
          The army marveled at it; and in the last,
          When he had carried Rome and that we

                         LOOKED
          For no less spoil than glory--
          Aufidius works himself into an intense, neurotic rage:

                         AUFIDIUS
          There was it!
          For which my sinews shall be stretched
          upon him.
          At a few drops of women's rheum, which

                         ARE
          As cheap as lies, he sold the blood and

                         LABOR
          Of our great action -- Therefore shall he
          die,
          And I'll renew me in his fall.

                         LIEUTENANT
          Therefore, at your vantage,
          Ere he express himself or move the people
          With what he would say, let him feel your
          sword,
          Which we will second.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          103.

                         AUFIDIUS

                         (SEES SOMETHING)
          Say no more.
          In the distance they can see a Roman military truck
          approaching. Clouds of dust billow up.
          They exchange a look. This is what they have been waiting
          for. They stand, stretch and prepare.
          The truck stops across the highway from them and Coriolanus
          gets out. He holds a copy of the peace treaty in a leather
          portfolio. He is unarmed.
          He stops.
          He sees Aufidius and the thugs. Waiting for him. Like a death
          squad.
          Coriolanus looks at them.
          He knows exactly what's going to happen.
          He is ready.
          He nods and the truck drives off.
          Coriolanus slowly crosses the highway to the truck stop, like
          a gunslinger walking down Main Street.
          There is something new to Coriolanus here. A sort of
          acceptance. He knows his time is past.
          Aufidius and the thugs go to meet him. The thugs spread out a
          bit, strategically, getting ready to strike. Coriolanus'
          experienced eyes miss none of this.
          They meet in the parking lot.

                         CORIOLANUS

                         (TO AUFIDIUS)
          I am returned your soldier,
          No more infected with my country's love
          Than when I parted hence, but still

                         SUBSISTING
          Under your great command.
          He hands the treaty portfolio to Aufidius:

                         CORIOLANUS
          We have made peace
          With no less honor to the Volscians
          Than shame to the Romans.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          104.

                         AUFIDIUS
          (handing the treaty to

                         LIEUTENANT)
          Read it not,
          But tell the traitor, in the highest

                         DEGREE
          He hath abused your powers.
          Coriolanus is ready for Aufidius' ploy. He is amused at the
          obvious attempt to anger him:

                         CORIOLANUS
          Traitor? How now?

                         AUFIDIUS
          Ay, traitor, Martius.

                         CORIOLANUS
          "Martius"?

                         AUFIDIUS
          Ay, Martius, Caius Martius! Dost thou

                         THINK
          I'll grace thee with that robbery, thy

                         STOLEN NAME
          "Coriolanus"?
          He spins to the others, making the case against Coriolanus
          with cutting bitterness:

                         AUFIDIUS

                         PERFIDIOUSLY
          He has betrayed your business and given
          up,
          For certain drops of salt, your city Rome-
          I say "your city" - to his wife and

                         MOTHER;
          Breaking his oath and resolution, like
          A twist of rotten silk; never admitting
          Counsel of the war, but at his nurse's

                         TEARS
          He whined and roared away YOUR VICTORY!
          Coriolanus tries to contain his anger:

                         CORIOLANUS
          Hear'st thou, Mars?

                         AUFIDIUS
          Name not the god, thou boy of tears.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          105.

                         CORIOLANUS
          Measureless liar, thou has made my heart
          Too great for what contains it. "Boy"? 0
          slave.
          Coriolanus' eyes miss nothing a Volscian thug shifting
          a bead of sweat on another one secretly reaching into
          his coat for a weapon.
          Some of the Volscian thugs are clearly nervous.
          Coriolanus is ready. He prepares himself mentally to die. He
          is acutely controlled:

                         CORIOLANUS
          Cut me to pieces, Volsces.
          Men and lads, stain all your edges on me.
          It is a dare. A challenge.

                         CORIOLANUS
          "Boy"? False hound.
          If you have writ your annals true, 'tis

                         THERE
          That, like an eagle in a dovecote, I
          Fluttered your Volscians in Corioles.
          His gaze burns into Aufidius:

                         CORIOLANUS
          Alone I did it "Boy."

                         AUFIDIUS
          Let him die for it.
          At this command, his men move--
          Aufidius steps back as--
          The Volscian thugs attack--
          With knives, machetes and tire irons--
          Coriolanus fights bravely -- disarming two, grabbing their
          weapons, killing them, fighting back--
          Slashing and cutting his way through the killers-
          Closer and closer to Aufidius, who just watches--
          Blood spattering and spraying-
          But the thugs overpower Coriolanus, there are just too many--

                         

                         

                         

                         

          106.
          They stab him -- slicing with knives -- battering with chains
          and clubs -- finally emptying pistols him into him--
          It is graceless and brutal carnage.
          Slaughter.
          But still he comes on. Body riddled with bullets and cut to
          bits. He refuses to fall. Like something immortal. An obscene
          demon of blood.
          Finally the thugs move away.
          Coriolanus still stands. Teetering. His face is a swollen
          mask of blood and gore. Blood flows from his body, pooling
          around his feet, spreading across the parking lot.
          Aufidius steps forward.
          What is left of Coriolanus glares at him through blood.
          Aufidius slowly pulls his knife. The same knife he was
          sharpening so carefully at the opening of the story. It has
          finally found its purpose.
          Coriolanus looks at him.
          Then slowly Coriolanus tries to raise one bleeding arm
          this requires superhuman effort his slashed fingers
          clutch his shirt he rips it open exposing his breast.
          Ready.
          He locks eyes with Aufidius.
          Aufidius steps to him. Takes his neck. Pulls him onto the
          knife. Driving it into him. Cradling his head like a lover.
          They stand like this.
          Then Coriolanus falls.
          A pause.

                         AUFIDIUS
          Take him up.
          No one moves.

                         AUFIDIUS
          Assist.
          Abrupt cut to--

                         

                         

                         

                         

          107.

          EXT. TRUCK - DAY

          Coriolanus' body is awkwardly tossed into the back of an open
          truck. Like a sack of potatoes.

          EXT. TRUCK - SUNSET

          A crowd of Volscians are gathered around the back of the
          truck. They have come to see Coriolanus' body.
          We watch their faces. Normal people. A range of grim emotion.
          One raises a cell phone. Takes a photo.
          More phone cameras come out. Streaming video. Recording the
          moment.

          INT. VILLA -- LIVING ROOM - DAY

          On the TV:
          The footage from the cell phone video.
          Coriolanus' body in the back of the trunk.

          Volumnia stands.

          Looking at her son.

          His body sprawled ungainly in death.

          No ritual or ceremony. No honor.

          Her face.

          Snap to black.

          The End.



Coriolanus



Writers :   John Logan  William Shakespeare
Genres :   Drama  Thriller  War


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