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Banishment: Romeo and Coriolanus

For two of Shakespeare's most passionate male characters, banishment holds passionately different meanings. Romeo, banished from Verona, is grief-stricken and in fear of never seeing Juliet again. For him, banishment is the equivalent of death. Coriolanus, banished from Rome, is enraged and contemptuous of the plebeians who he hopes he will never have to see again. For him, banishment is an opportunity for a new life. This is another good example of Shakespeare's ability to view a nearly identical situation through the perspectives of different human beings.

There is no world without Verona walls

There is no world without Verona walls
But purgatory, torture, hell itself.
Hence “banishèd” is “banished from the world,”
And world’s exile is death.
~ Romeo, Romeo and Juliet, 3.3.16

There is a world elsewhere

You common cry of curs, whose breath I hate
…Have the power still
To banish your defenders, till at length
Your ignorance (which finds not till it feels,
Making but reservation of yourselves,
Still your own foes) deliver you as most
Abated captives to some nation
That won you without blows! Despising,
For you, the city, thus I turn my back;
There is a world elsewhere.
~ Coriolanus, Coriolanus, 3.3.150

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You common cry of curs

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What less than doomsday is the Prince’s doom?

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