LAST TIME ON CORIOLANUS: The Roman army, led by General Cominius, launched a counter-attack on an invading Volscian army. During the ensuing battle, Caius Martius single-handedly took on the troops of the Volscian city of Corioles and battled his arch-nemesis, Volscian general Tullus Aufidius. The Romans are victorious!
A lot of people get embarrassed if they're praised publicly, but Maritus gets embarrassed and mad. He really really really doesn't like it. Except maybe he does. I love his line "I will go wash", which acts as a huge bucket of cold water over the preceding exultant shouts of praise.
I also love the moment at the end of this scene where Martius asks for a Volscian who sheltered him while he was fighting in Corioles to be released. It's the first time he shows some real compassion. Of course, he then promptly forgets the name of the Volscian and moves on, presumably leaving the poor guy to linger in Roman custody indefinitely.
Poor old Aufidius. He just can't win.
Anyways, that's the end of the Battle of Corioles. Let's move back to Rome and see how Martius's exploits are being received by his friends and family, not to mention the rather surly tribunes elected to represent the people of Rome...
Check back in tomorrow, when we'll find out exactly how alarmingly screwed-up Martius's mother Volumnia is, featuring possibly one of my favorite exchanges in the entire play.