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First Roman Citizen

Income Inequality

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In Coriolanus,  Menenius Agrippa extemporizes on an ancient version of modern day trickle-down economics. In his extended metaphor, Menenius compares the digestive and circulatory systems of the body to the economics of upper-class Romans massing wealth and food for their benefit, which he claims eventually circulates out to the masses for their benefit. The hungry poor are more persuaded by their empty stomachs than by Menenius’s intellectual reasoning and promises.
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We are accounted poor citizens

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We are accounted poor citizens, the patricians
goodEllipsis
. What authority surfeits on would relieve us.

the gods know I speak this in hunger
for bread, not in thirst for revenge

If they would yield us but the superfluity
while it were wholesome, we might guess they
reliev’d us humanely; but they think we are too
dear.
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 1
Line 14

Source Type:

Spoken by:

Figures of Speech:
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Connected Notes:
Income Inequality, Politics and the People

There was a time when all the body’s members

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Menenius Agrippa
There was a time when all the body’s members
Rebell’d against the belly; thus accus’d it:
That only like a gulf it did remain
I’ th’ midst a’ th’ body, idle and unactive,
Still cupboarding the viand, never bearing
Like labor with the rest, where th’ other instruments
Did see and hear, devise, instruct,
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 1
Line 98

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Spoken by:
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Figures of Speech:
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Connected Notes:
Income Inequality, Politics and the People

The Volsces are in arms

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First Roman Senator
The Volsces are in arms.
Caius Martius
They have a leader,
Tullus Aufidius, that will put you to’t.
I sin in envying his nobility;
And were I any thing but what I am,
I would wish me only he.
Cominius
You have fought together?
Caius Martius
Were half to half the world by th’ ears,
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 1
Line 254

Source Type:

Spoken by:
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And to make us no better thought of, a little help will serve

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First Roman Citizen
And to make us no better thought of, a little help will serve; for once we stood up about the corn, he himself stuck not to call us the many-headed multitude.
Third Roman Citizen
We have been call’d so of many, not that our heads are some brown, some black, some abram, some bald, but that our wits are so diversely color’d;
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Source:
Act 2
Scene 3
Line 14

Source Type:

Spoken by:
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