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Act I, Scene 10
This scene moves to the enemy camp of the Volscians who have suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Romans. There is a sounding of cornets as Aufidius enters and becomes the focus of the dialogue. Aufidius laments that the city of Corioli has been lost and that he has been defeated by Marcius for the fifth time. Bursting with anger and hatred, Aufidius laments, “ My valor’s poisoned / With only suffering stain by him.” He swears that he will destroy a Roman Corioli, even if he has to resort to trickery.
Aufidius tells one of the soldiers to name which hostages have been sent to Rome and the terms of the peace treaty. He then retires to the cypress grove, where he will plan his future moves.
This scene shows the Volscians, particularly Aufidius, agonizing over their defeat. Marcius has now defeated Aufidius five times, and the Volscian leader is more determined than ever to get even with his enemy, by fair or foul means. His repeated defeats have caused a degeneration of his character and bred a dangerous sense of envy and frustration in him. The audience is left with the feeling at the end of Act I that somehow Aufidius will have his revenge on Marcius.