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When Coriolanus finally appears in the Forum, the plebeians accuse him of being tyrannically ambitious. This enrages Coriolanus. Forgetting his promise to speak politely and mildly, he denounces the commoners, as well as the members of the tribune. When he storms off, Sicinius Velutus orders Coriolanus to leave the city at once; the commoners shout their approval of this sentence. Before leaving, Coriolanus condemns the Romans for the last time. He curses them, hoping that they will banish their defenders and quake before their enemies before they have delivered themselves into the power of their foes.
In Act IV, Coriolanus leaves Rome and goes to Antium, leaving his mother behind to weep for him. He disguises himself in beggar’s attire and forcibly enters the house of Tullus Aufidius. After revealing his true identity, Coriolanus puts himself at Aufidius’ mercy, offering to become the victim or the ally of the Volscians. Aufidius is overjoyed at having Coriolanus on his side and welcomes him as a comrade, offering to share his command with him in a new war against Rome. Meanwhile, the tribunes are celebrating their victory over their successful campaign against Coriolanus. Their celebration is, however, disturbed by rumors that Coriolanus has joined Aufidius and is devastating the countryside. Menenius ironically congratulates the tribunes for their excellent work in banishing Coriolanus, and the commoners begin to regret his banishment. One citizen ironically says that “though we willingly consented to his banishment, yet it was against our will.”
Aufidius is plagued by problems of his own. He is extremely displeased by Coriolanus’ pride and his growing popularity among the Volscians. Nevertheless, he is confident that though Coriolanus will regain the favor of the Romans, some flaw in his character will cause him to lose it again.
Aufidius is outraged with Coriolanus, who first usurped his position among the Volscians and now has deserted him on the eve of victory. He bitterly returns to Antium, infuriated over the turn of events.
Coriolanus arrives at Antium to explain his conduct to the Volscians. He reminds them about the victories they had won under his leadership and shows them the peace treaty with Rome. When Aufidius accuses him of betraying the Volscians, Coriolanus taunts him with an insulting reminder of his defeat at Corioli. The Volscians become enraged with Coriolanus, and Aufidius’ henchmen incite them even more by reminding them of their kinsmen who died at Coriolanus’ hands. They fall upon Coriolanus and murder him. When Aufidius’ rage subsides, he declares that Coriolanus should have a noble monument in his memory in Antium.