LAST TIME ON CORIOLANUS: After helping the Romans seize the city of Corioles, Caius Martius is awarded the honorific name of "Coriolanus". Triumphant, he returns home to Rome. However, the tribunes of the people are worried about what his new-found glory will allow him to achieve...
I absolutely love this scene. One the one hand, it's deeply disturbing to hear a mother sound so happy upon learning that her son has terrible gaping wounds, and comparing his overall wound tally with his friend. On the other hand, it's morbidly hysterical to hear a mother sound so happy upon learning that her son has terrible gaping wounds, and comparing his overall wound tally with his friend.
Virgilia doesn't actually faint in this scene, I should point out. That was dramatic license on my part. But if I were her, I would seriously examine what life choices led to me being tethered to such a sick family.
Volumnia is one of those mothers who vicariously lives through her son. She's so proud of him... but she's also sure he could do jusssssst a little bit more and become President of the United States, isn't that right, don't you want to make your old mother happy?
The tribunes of the people. On the one hand, it looks like they're concerned entirely about maintaining their own political power. On the other hand, they know exactly how much Coriolanus hates the common people, and want to prevent him from being in a position to do anything bad to them. Serving their constituents or serving their self-interests? I'll let you decide.
Stay tuned tomorrow for some more political wheeling and dealing!