LAST TIME ON CORIOLANUS: Caius Martius, now known as Coriolanus, returns in triumph to Rome, where his war heroics are thought to make him a shoe-in for the position of consul.
These two random guys come on stage to put cushions out for the Senate and have a cheery little conversation about the merits of Coriolanus. The chief take-away message is "Coriolanus: he hates the people, but at least he's honest about it".
Did we mention Coriolanus hates the people? Oh, we have? Well, have you gotten the message yet?
Here we have another one of Coriolanus's little tantrums, as he storms out of the senate rather than sit and listen to himself be praised. I mean, it's all admirable and stuff not to want people to make a big deal of what you perceive as just being your job, but Coriolanus really does manage to take this attitude into new levels of petulance.
Also, Cominius has a great speech about how Coriolanus is a fantastic solider and is really good at killing people, but he never once says anything remotely resembling "Oh, and he'd be a really good civilian administrator". Apparently that's not a required skill.
Coriolanus is annoyed for several reasons. First, as we've already established, he doesn't like people making a big deal of his military accomplishments, so he's not exactly thrilled about having to show off his scars to the people to convince them that he's a great war hero. Secondly, he doesn't believe the people should even have any role in the appointment of consuls, given how fickle and pointless they all are.
Stay tuned tomorrow, when Coriolanus has to wear"the vesture of humility" and ask the people nicely if they would approve him as consul. As I'm sure you can see, this is heading towards a great, old-fashioned showdown in the next couple scenes...