LAST TIME ON CORIOLANUS: The Roman attack on the Volscian city of Corioles looks doomed to defeat when a Volscian sortie beats back the Roman troops. Infuriated, Caius Martius launches a one-man attack on the city, only to be trapped inside when the gates are shut behind him. His comrades think he is dead... right up until he emerges, covered in blood and still fighting. Inspired, the Romans redouble their attack on the city.
Martius spends most of the Battle of Corioles running around, covered in blood. Everyone else spends most of the Battle of Corioles commenting on the fact that he's running around, covered in blood.
I have temporarily lost custody of my DVD of Ralph Fiennes's Coriolanus movie, but over the weekend I will put together a couple video clips of the "make you a sword of me" line. That line of often cited as distilling the core of Martius's character. He's not a human being. He's a weapon.
Like a sword, he's also sharp, pointy, and covered in blood.
Is this one of the shortest scenes in Shakespeare? I'm sure there are shorter ones, but this is definitely a contender. I'll have to do some research.
Join me again on Monday, when Martius and Aufidius finally face off in battle! That gives me the weekend to work on my "stick figure combat" drawing skills.