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Act III, Scene 3
Sicinius and Brutus arrive at the Forum and wait for Coriolanus, plotting his demise. Whatever way Coriolanus deals with the situation, the tribunes have figured out a way for him to be ousted from power. An aedile enters with the news that Coriolanus is coming, accompanied by Menenius and the Senators who favor him. Sicinius instructs the aedile to assemble people according to their tribes and to tell them to listen to the voices of the tribunes. He says that the death sentence may be modified to the imposition of a fine or banishment, and the citizens are to affirm whatever the tribunes say. Brutus adds that the people should be kept in a state of frenzied excitement during the proceedings. After the aedile leaves, Brutus says that the trick is to enrage Coriolanus since “once chaf’d, he cannot / Be rein’d again to temperance; then he speaks / What’s in his heart ; and that is there which looks / With us to break his neck.” These tribunes understand that Coriolanus’ anger can undo him.
Coriolanus enters with his supporters, and Menenius reminds him to remain calm. Coriolanus is irritated by this constant reminder and angrily replies that he will be as modest as an ostler. As Sicinius orders the commoners to draw nearer, Coriolanus inquires whether this meeting will resolve the quarrel once and for all. Sicinius answers that matter will be solved if Coriolanus submits to the people’s demands, allows them to have representatives, and repents for the accusations levied against them. Coriolanus consents to all of the conditions.
Coriolanus leaves with his group of supporters. The commoners are happy that the people’s enemy is to be sent from Rome. Sicinius orders the crowd to follow Coriolanus to the city gates and hurl invectives at him. The commoners are eager to do so and depart. At the end of the scene, Sicinius is basking in his triumph and orders that a guard accompany the tribunes through the city.