Give me his gage: Yea, but not change his spots: My dear dear lord, The purest treasure mortal times afford Is spotless reputation; that away, Men are but gilded loam or painted clay.
And what a finish it was! Not what I envisioned — not by a long shot. Tragedy being a central component of Greek drama, this makes perfect sense.
When we left Coriolanus, he had been booted from the city under drummed-up charges of treachery. I love how Shakespeare in no way stints his portrait of the plebeians as anything less than fickle, listing from one side to the other like drunken pirates at sea under gale-force winds.
Shakespeare has them continually speaking in unison, just as in the crowd scene from Brian. Somewhere in the back of his mind Coriolanus must know that the odds of this working out are slim.
Shakespeare had me completely fooled, however, in the willingness Aufidius shows to welcome in a man he could never defeat in battle. But Shakespeare makes a point of showing how Aufidius takes umbrage at the way Coriolanus excels in battle and treats him as a lesser rather than as an equal.
You can even understand why they might be jealous. What saves Coriolanus is his wrath and how it fuels him to larger-than-life status on the battlefield. How can you root for a guy who bested you so many times as a hated captain of the arch historic rivals?
But hey, how that changes once he signs up to be on YOUR team! As you might expect, the Corioles with Coriolanus in charge and Aufidius as his companion are an unstoppable force about to lay waste to Rome itself.
And a scream to see how the plebeians change their tune about Coriolanus now that he is about to torch them where they live. And so did I. And so did I; and, to say the truth, so did very many of us.
That we did, we did for the best; and though we willingly consented to his banishment, yet it was against our will. Only Menenius has the balls to say: The major turning point in the story comes, however, where you least expect it.
The Tribunes have absolutely nothing to stop him except for pleas of mercy. Which of course they immediately resort to, having no abilities at battle themselves.
First Menenius is summoned and summarily dismissed by Coriolanus, all but handed his hat in his hands. And yet, the unthinkable happens. He calls off the quest for revenge, succumbing to the last-second bidding of his family, even though he — and they too really — know what this will surely mean for him.
I groaned at this calling off of the attack. Partly because I sensed it could not end well for Coriolanus… but also because it meant that the Tribunes and the plebes would likely get off scott free.
At one point, Shakespeare has Brutus being dragged away by an angry mob about to be torn to shreds. Shakespeare lets us squirm. We all know that.
Just look around at the news lately. At the frauds and cheats who make off with their millions in bonuses and stock options. At the political shenanigans which thrive even with Obama in charge. Like anything really changes! Both for this reason and because Shakespeare has bigger fish to fry — a much grander poetic scheme in mind — does he suffer Coriolanus to return to Corioles to meet his fate.
You might assume it would come from the people there and the sense of betrayal they feel when Rome is not sacked after taking in the enemy; you might also think that the nobility in Corioles would question the decision to allow this man to have a leading role in the attack.
But no — it comes through duplicity again, this time in the form of Aufidius.
Unable to defeat his nemesis in battle, he stoops to political maneuverings to accuse Coriolanus of the same crime that undermined him at home — treachery! It all starts to make sense now. Coriolanus is banished from Rome under the charge of treachery.William Shakespeare Henry IV, Part II.
Note on the e-text: this Renascence Editions text is a copy of the University of Adelaide mirror of the ERIS Project plain text edition. from: Vortigern, an Historical Tragedy, in Five Acts. And Henry the Second, an Historical Drama, Supposed to be Written by the Author of Vortigern PREFACE.
It is now near three years since the Play, which the following sheets present to the Public, was represented at the Theatre Royal Drury.
Shakespeare demonstrates how kings, such as Richard II, Henry IV, Henry V, and Macbeth, are subject to deception just as easily as are the simple commoners, such as the lovers in .
Stuffing the ears of men with false reports. I speak of peace while covert emnity, 10 Under the smile of safety, wounds the world; Hath beaten down young Hotspur and his troops, Quenching the flame of bold rebellion Even with the rebels' blood.
But what mean I Henry IV. Go call the Earls of Surrey and of Warwick; But, ere they come. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare The First Part of King Henry the Fourth June, [Etext #] The Library of the Future Complete Works of William Shakespeare Library of the Future is a TradeMark (TM) of World Library Inc.
The historie of Henry the Fourth: with the battell at Shrewseburie betweene the King and Lord Henry Percy, surnamed Henry Hotspur of the North: with the humorous conceits of Sir Iohn Falstaff / by William Shake-speare.