Sunday, May 27, 2012

Aimless Reading: The S's, Part 19.22 (William Shakespeare)

Coriolanus
Shakespeare, William
Coriolanus

My memory is a little fuzzy on this one.

I remember having it assigned in a political science course when I was in college, but I don't recall reading it.

Either I read it and forgot or I didn't do the homework. Probably the latter.

I did, however, read it at the time I bought this set. I have never seen it performed or adapted to film.

I am running a little dry again on memories.

When I think of the title of this play, it conjures an image of a centurion.

Not a general image, but something specific related to the book. Something I actually saw. A drawing, perhaps?

It registers like that: a vague outline in black and white.

I can barely draw it out into consciousness, as if I am seeing it through a fog.

I read the name "Coriolanus," I visualize an adumbration of a centurion.

That is all.

Interesting. In this edition, a facsimile of the title page of the earliest separate printed version of this play lists the title as follows:

THE
INGRATITUDE
OF A
COMMON-WEALTH
OR, THE FALL OF
LAIUS MARTIUS CORIOLANUS
AS IT IS
ACTED
AT THE
THEATRE - ROYAL

A nice intro to today's excerpt, which suddenly sounds quite revolutionary.

What a great line:

"The leanness that afflicts us, the object of our misery, is as an inventory to particularise their abundance."

from Coriolanus


We are accounted poor citizens, the patricians good. What authority surfeits on would relieve us: if they would yield us but the superfluity, while it were wholesome, we might guess they relieved us humanely; but they think we are too dear: the leanness that afflicts us, the object of our misery, is as an inventory to particularise their abundance; our sufferance is a gain to them. Let us revenge this with our pikes, ere we become rakes: for the gods know I speak this in hunger for bread, not in thirst for revenge.

No comments: