Coriolanus and Lucrece

Coriolanus Date of Composition 1608; elizabeth has been dead for 5 years; 5 years into the stewart dynasty and james the first is on throne; began writing romances after coriolanus
Coriolanus Dramatic Date covers 6 years from 494 bce when the roman senate granted plebs rep to the tribunes (tribune plebis)to 488 bce when corialanus assassinated by Aufidius
Coriolanus setting in and around city of rome esp in cities of corioles and antiem
Coriolanus source Plutarch’s Lives of Noble Grecians and Romans; 1595 this text comes into english by Sir Thomas North’s retranslation of this
Coriolanus text set from a scribal copy of shakespeare’s fair copy; only version to survive is from first folio
Social Grid of the Rome During the Republic, 509-27 BCE Patricians-100-200 families; all allowed one or sometimes two in senate; got wealth from land; 1/10th of 1% of roman citizensEquestians-600; horses for recreational purposes; about 1/2 of 1%; more come up peoplePlebians-60% of entire roman citizen pop; worked for a living; could be well off; 25%Proletarians about 40%; own your own children; very poor; did not own any property and if they could get work they were day laborers; 20%Some people with greencards35% slaves; some dressed like patriciansGrew from 1K in 509 bce to about 200K by birth of christTribunes made in 494; small group of people who et with senate to articulate political positions of plebs366-changed laws so pled can be consuls172-both senators can be plebsResident aliens had green card but could be very wealthy
Coriolanus backstory Roman Republic about 15 years old but tension between patricians and plebs; Coriolanus is great warrior but an unabashed elitist; recognizes one way to deal with roman citizenry-brutal, violent, relentless oppression.
Coriolanus genre Classical Aristotelian Tragedy
Tragic Flaw not overwhelmingly bad or good but there is a flaw; quality on person that leads to tragedy
Aristotle’s tragedy terms as play develops there is a REVERSAL (when the character’s life situation changes completely) that causes RECOGNITION (of tragic flaw) which leads to his destruction; CATHARSIS-that feeling of having been through a terrible ordeal/identify with character but actually don’t directly experience and purge these emotions(Reversal comes when he abandons rome and joins voltians)
Coriolanus in scope of course The political and historical dynamics of the early years of the roman republic; starting about 15 years after republic was founded and play will occur over 6 years
Who said this: The senators of Rome are this good belly,And you the mutinous members. For examineTheir counsels and their cares, digest things rightlyTouching the weal o’ th’ common, you shall findNo public benefit which you receiveBut it proceeds or comes from them to youAnd no way from yourselves. What do you think,You, the great toe of this assembly Menenius
He that will give good words to thee will flatterBeneath abhorring. What would you have, you curs,That like nor peace nor war? The one affrights you;The other makes you proud. He that trusts to you,Where he should find you lions, finds you hares;Where foxes, geese. You are no surer, no,Than is the coal of fire upon the iceOr hailstone in the sun. Your virtue isTo make him worthy whose offense subdues him,And curse that justice did it. Who deserves greatnessDeserves your hate; and your affections areA sick man’s appetite, who desires most thatWhich would increase his evil. He that dependsUpon your favors swims with fins of lead,And hews down oaks with rushes. Hang you! Trustyou?With every minute you do change a mindAnd call him noble that was now your hate,Him vile that was your garland. What’s the matter,That in these several places of the cityYou cry against the noble senate, who,Under the gods, keep you in awe, which elseWould feed on one another?—What’s their seeking? Cauis Martius
If my son were myhusband, I should freelier rejoice in that absencewherein he won honor than in the embracementsof his bed where he would show most love. Volumnia
Sir, praise me not.My work hath yet not warmed me. Fare you well.The blood I drop is rather physicalThan dangerous to me. To Aufidius thusI will appear and fight. Caius Martius
The common file—a plague! Tribunes for them!—The mouse ne’er shunned the cat as they did budgeFrom rascals worse than they. Caius Martius
For what he did before Corioles, call him,With all th’ applause and clamor of the host,Martius Caius Coriolanus! BearTh’ addition nobly ever! Cominius
I sometime lay here in CoriolesAt a poor man’s house; he used me kindly.He cried to me; I saw him prisoner;But then Aufidius was within my view,And wrath o’erwhelmed my pity. I request youTo give my poor host freedom….By Jupiter, forgot!I am weary; yea, my memory is tired.Have we no wine here? Coriolanus
Five times, Martius,I have fought with thee; so often hast thou beat meAnd wouldst do so, I think, should we encounterAs often as we eat. By th’ elements,If e’er again I meet him beard to beard,He’s mine, or I am his. Mine emulationHath not that honor in ‘t it had; for whereI thought to crush him in an equal force,True sword to sword, I’ll potch at him some wayOr wrath or craft may get him. Aufidius
You know neither me, yourselves, nor anything.You are ambitious for poor knaves’ capsand legs. You wear out a good wholesome forenoonin hearing a cause between an orange-wifeand a faucet-seller, and then rejourn the controversyof threepence to a second day of audience.When you are hearing a matter between party andparty, if you chance to be pinched with the colic,you make faces like mummers, set up the bloodyflag against all patience, and, in roaring for achamber pot, dismiss the controversy bleeding,the more entangled by your hearing. All the peaceyou make in their cause is calling both the partiesknaves. You are a pair of strange ones…Our very priests must become mockers ifthey shall encounter such ridiculous subjects asyou are. When you speak best unto the purpose, itis not worth the wagging of your beards, and yourbeards deserve not so honorable a grave as tostuff a botcher’s cushion or to be entombed in anass’s packsaddle. Yet you must be saying Martius isproud, who, in a cheap estimation, is worth allyour predecessors since Deucalion, though peradventuresome of the best of ’em were hereditaryhangmen. Good e’en to your Worships. More ofyour conversation would infect my brain, beingthe herdsmen of the beastly plebeians. I will bebold to take my leave of you. Menenius
I’ th’ shoulder and i’ th’ left arm. There willbe large cicatrices to show the people when heshall stand for his place. He received in the repulseof Tarquin seven hurts i’ th’ body. Volumnia
I have livedTo see inherited my very wishesAnd the buildings of my fancy. OnlyThere’s one thing wanting, which I doubt not butOur Rome will cast upon thee. Volumnia
“Shall”?O editorial emendationgoodeditorial emendation but most unwise patricians, why,You grave but reckless senators, have you thusGiven Hydra here to choose an officer,That with his peremptory “shall,” being butThe horn and noise o’ th’ monster’s, wants not spiritTo say he’ll turn your current in a ditchAnd make your channel his? If he have power,Then vail your ignorance; if none, awakeYour dangerous lenity. If you are learned,Be not as common fools; if you are not,Let them have cushions by you. You are plebeians,If they be senators; and they are no lessWhen, both your voices blended, the great’st tasteMost palates theirs. They choose their magistrate,And such a one as he, who puts his “shall,”His popular “shall,” against a graver benchThan ever frowned in Greece. By Jove himself,It makes the consuls base! And my soul achesTo know, when two authorities are up,Neither supreme, how soon confusionMay enter ‘twixt the gap of both and takeThe one by th’ other. Coriolanus (oligarchy political speech)
Or let us stand to our authorityOr let us lose it. We do here pronounce,Upon the part o’ th’ people, in whose powerWe were elected theirs, Martius is worthyOf present death. Brutus
I muse my motherDoes not approve me further, who was wontTo call them woolen vassals, things createdTo buy and sell with groats, to show bare headsIn congregations, to yawn, be still, and wonderWhen one but of my ordinance stood upTo speak of peace or war. Coriolanus
That do corrupt my air, I banish you! Coriolanus
Know thou first,I loved the maid I married; never manSighed truer breath. But that I see thee here,Thou noble thing, more dances my rapt heartThan when I first my wedded mistress sawBestride my threshold. Aufidius
All places yields to him ere he sits down,And the nobility of Rome are his;The Senators and Patricians love him too.The Tribunes are no soldiers, and their peopleWill be as rash in the repeal as hastyTo expel him thence. I think he’ll be to RomeAs is the osprey to the fish, who takes itBy sovereignty of nature. First, he wasA noble servant to them, but he could notCarry his honors even. Whether editorial emendation’twaseditorial emendation pride,Which out of daily fortune ever taintsThe happy man; whether editorial emendationdefecteditorial emendation of judgment,To fail in the disposing of those chancesWhich he was lord of; or whether nature,Not to be other than one thing, not movingFrom th’ casque to th’ cushion, but commandingpeaceEven with the same austerity and garbAs he controlled the war; but one of these—As he hath spices of them all—not all,For I dare so far free him—made him feared,So hated, and so banished. But he has a meritTo choke it in the utt’rance. So our editorial emendationvirtueseditorial emendationLie in th’ interpretation of the time,And power, unto itself most commendable,Hath not a tomb so evident as a chairT’ extol what it hath done.One fire drives out one fire, one nail one nail;Rights by rights editorial emendationfaltereditorial emendation; strengths by strengths dofail.Come, let’s away. When, Caius, Rome is thine,Thou art poor’st of all; then shortly art thou mine.. Aufidius (tries to describe Coriolanus’s tragic flaw: pride is one, defective judgment two, inflexibility three)
I tell you, he does sit in gold, his eyeRed as ‘twould burn Rome; and his injuryThe jailor to his pity. I kneeled before him;’Twas very faintly he said “Rise”; dismissed meThus with his speechless hand. What he would doHe sent in writing after me; what heWould not, bound with an oath to yield to hisConditions. So that all hope is vainUnless his noble mother and his wife,Who, as I hear, mean to solicit himFor mercy to his country. Therefore let’s henceAnd with our fair entreaties haste them on. Cominius
This last old man,Whom with a cracked heart I have sent to Rome,Loved me above the measure of a father,Nay, godded me indeed. Their latest refugeWas to send him, for whose old love I have—Though I showed sourly to him—once more offeredThe first conditions, which they did refuseAnd cannot now accept, to grace him onlyThat thought he could do more. A very littleI have yielded to. Fresh embassies and suits,Nor from the state nor private friends, hereafterWill I lend ear to. Coriolanus
Let the VolscesPlow Rome and harrow Italy, I’ll neverBe such a gosling to obey instinct, but standAs if a man were author of himself,And knew no other kin Coriolanus (king is self-created)
Lucrece Date of Composition 1594
Lucrece Dramatic Date 509 BCE (when patrician families 200-250 families who replaced monarchy with republic)
Lucrece Setting A military camp near Ardea, Italy; and Collatium, Collatine’s estate near Rome
Lucrece Text The text was set from Shakespeare’s manuscript (the equivalent of the fair copy), which he wrote and edited for the printer specifically to be published as a poem.
Lucrece particular technical info 1) From a literary perspective: Lucrece was the third most popular poem published during the Elizabethan Period, going through five printings. 2) From a stage history perspective: Like Venus and Adonis and probably the 154-poem sonnet sequence, Lucrece was written while the theaters were closed due to bubonic plague.3) From a political perspective: When he published Venus and Adonis in 1593, Shakespeare dedicated it to Henry Wriothsley, Earl of Southampton and Baron of Titchfield, and he promised a “graver,” more elevated and serious literary work in the near future. Lucrece, also dedicated to Southampton, is assumed to be that “graver labor.”
Lucrece backstory The descendents of aeneas have been living there since fall of troy almost 7 cen. And rome has been monarchy for centuries; etruscans already there before romans arrived and the current king tarquinis the proud is harsh ruler and rejects rules we expect of people and written laws; getting unpopular; narrative poem written in narrative poem written in Rhyme Royal-ababbcc; metric pattern iambic pentameter (iam= u/)
Lucrece genre Narrative poem written in Rhyme royal
Lucrece location in scope of course The overthrow of the Tarquin dynasty and founding of the Roman Republic in 509 BCE
“Fair torch, burn out thy light, and lend it notTo darken her whose light excelleth thine.And die, unhallowed thoughts, before you blotWith your uncleanness that which is divine.Offer pure incense to so pure a shrine.Let fair humanity abhor the deedThat spots and stains love’s modest snow-white weed. Tarquin
I have debated, even in my soul,What wrong, what shame, what sorrow I shall breed,But nothing can affection’s course controlOr stop the headlong fury of his speed.I know repentant tears ensue the deed,Reproach, disdain, and deadly enmity,Yet strive I to embrace mine infamy Tarquin
Reward not hospitalityWith such black payment as thou hast pretended;Mud not the fountain that gave drink to thee.Mar not the thing that cannot be amended.End thy ill aim before thy shoot be ended;He is no woodman that doth bend his bowTo strike a poor unseasonable doe. Lucrece
Importance?And then with lank and lean discolored cheek,With heavy eye, knit brow, and strengthless pace,Feeble Desire, all recreant, poor, and meek,Like to a bankrout beggar wails his case.The flesh being proud, Desire doth fight with Grace,For there it revels; and when that decays,The guilty rebel for remission prays. physical manifestation of what he did to her on him begins to talk to his soul and knows he has tainted his soul
O, hateful, vaporous, and foggy Night,Since thou art guilty of my cureless crime,Muster thy mists to meet the eastern light,Make war against proportioned course of time;Or, if thou wilt permit the sun to climbHis wonted height, yet ere he go to bed,Knit poisonous clouds about his golden head. Lucrece
The nurse, to still her child, will tell my storyAnd fright her crying babe with Tarquin’s name.The orator, to deck his oratory,Will couple my reproach to Tarquin’s shame.Feast-finding minstrels, tuning my defame,Will tie the hearers to attend each line,How Tarquin wrongèd me, I Collatine. Lucrece
Significance?Show me the strumpet that began this stir,That with my nails her beauty I may tear.Thy heat of lust, fond Paris, did incurThis load of wrath that burning Troy doth bear;Thy eye kindled the fire that burneth here,And here in Troy, for trespass of thine eye,The sire, the son, the dame, and daughter die.”Why should the private pleasure of some oneBecome the public plague of many moe?Let sin, alone committed, light aloneUpon his head that hath transgressèd so;Let guiltless souls be freed from guilty woe.For one’s offense why should so many fall,To plague a private sin in general?”Lo, here weeps Hecuba, here Priam dies,Here manly Hector faints, here Troilus swounds,Here friend by friend in bloody channel lies,And friend to friend gives unadvisèd wounds,And one man’s lust these many lives confounds.Had doting Priam checked his son’s desire,Troy had been bright with fame and not with fire only plan to go forward is suicide and looks at painting and thinks that one woman caused entire situation to die because morally corrupt;Helen as the paradigm of female degradation
Significance?O, teach me how to make mine own excuse,Or, at the least, this refuge let me find:Though my gross blood be stained with this abuse,Immaculate and spotless is my mind;That was not forced, that never was inclinedTo accessory yieldings, but still pureDoth in her poisoned closet yet endure Lucrece; Sacrifice of the polluted body to save the “immaculate mind”
Such childish humor from weak minds proceeds.Thy wretchèd wife mistook the matter soTo slay herself, that should have slain her foe.”Courageous Roman, do not steep thy heartIn such relenting dew of lamentations,But kneel with me and help to bear thy partTo rouse our Roman gods with invocations,That they will suffer these abominations—Since Rome herself in them doth stand disgraced—By our strong arms from forth her fair streets chased.”Now, by the Capitol, that we adore,And by this chaste blood so unjustly stained,By heaven’s fair sun that breeds the fat earth’s store,By all our country rights in Rome maintained,And by chaste Lucrece’ soul that late complainedHer wrongs to us, and by this bloody knife,We will revenge the death of this true wife.”This said, he struck his hand upon his breast,And kissed the fatal knife to end his vow,And to his protestation urged the rest,Who, wond’ring at him, did his words allow.Then jointly to the ground their knees they bow,And that deep vow which Brutus made beforeHe doth again repeat, and that they swore.When they had sworn to this advisèd doom,They did conclude to bear dead Lucrece thenceTo show her bleeding body thorough Rome,And so to publish Tarquin’s foul offense;Which being done with speedy diligence,The Romans plausibly did give consentTo Tarquin’s everlasting banishment. Brutus; use of ethics as a transition to politics; The destruction of monarchy and institution of republican, elective government
Shameful it is: ay, if the fact be known,Hateful it is: there is no hate in loving.I’ll beg her love. But she is not her own.The worst is but denial and reproving;My will is strong, past reason’s weak removing.Who fears a sentence or an old man’s sawShall by a painted cloth be kept in awe Tarquin
Ay me, the bark pilled from the lofty pine,His leaves will wither and his sap decay;So must my soul, her bark being pilled away Lucrece; -objectifying herself; she is tree and he has peeled off her bark; collatine lost that jewel-chastity is not hers it is her husband’s; wants him to kill tarquin because the jewel that he has taken is his
For even as subtle Sinon here is paintedSo sober sad, so weary, and so mild,As if with grief or travail he had fainted,To me came Tarquin armèd too, beguiledWith outward honesty, but yet defiledWith inward vice. As Priam him did cherish,So did I Tarquin; so my Troy did perish. Lucrece; Sinon(came up with idea to take horse inside Troy)-tarquin came to her like a trojan horse which turned out to be fill with the enemy
Significance (Lucrece)? The one doth call her his, the other his,Yet neither may possess the claim they lay.The father says, “She’s mine.” “O, mine she is,”Replies her husband. “Do not take awayMy sorrow’s interest. Let no mourner sayHe weeps for her, for she was only mineAnd only must be wailed by Collatine.””O,” quoth Lucretius, “I did give that lifeWhich she too early and too late hath spilled.””Woe, woe,” quoth Collatine, “she was my wife.I owed her, and ’tis mine that she hath killed.””My daughter” and “my wife” with clamors filledThe dispersed air, who, holding Lucrece’ life,Answered their cries, “my daughter” and “my wife her father (Lucretius) and husband will say that they lost their property
Lucrece,” quoth he, “this night I must enjoy thee.If thou deny, then force must work my way,For in thy bed I purpose to destroy thee.That done, some worthless slave of thine I’ll slay,To kill thine honor with thy life’s decay,And in thy dead arms do I mean to place him,Swearing I slew him, seeing thee embrace him.”So thy surviving husband shall remainThe scornful mark of every open eye,Thy kinsmen hang their heads at this disdain,Thy issue blurred with nameless bastardy;And thou, the author of their obloquy,Shalt have thy trespass cited up in rhymesAnd sung by children in succeeding times.”But if thou yield, I rest thy secret friend.The fault unknown is as a thought unacted;A little harm done to a great good endFor lawful policy remains enacted.The poisonous simple sometimes is compactedIn a pure compound; being so applied,His venom in effect is purified. Tarquin; political and personal strategy that he will use; he will ruin reputation in society and with her husband, but if she yields then they can still be good friends and do it for her husband and reputation
Hast thou command? By Him that gave it thee,From a pure heart command thy rebel will.Draw not thy sword to guard iniquity,For it was lent thee all that brood to kill.Thy princely office how canst thou fulfillWhen, patterned by thy fault, foul Sin may sayHe learned to sin, and thou didst teach the way. Lucrece; God has given you this role of king so don’t abuse it; if you are bad so will the people be
1200 BCE Mythic Fall of Troy and flight of Aeneas and his small band of soon-to-be “Roman” patriarchs
753 BCE Legendary Pre-historical Founding of Rome by Romulus (sometimes considered the son of Aeneas, sometimes considered the son of Aeneas’s daughter, Lavinia, and the god Mars, the Roman name for Ares)
509 BCE Patrician rebellion led by Brutus expels from Rome the Tarquins (last of the Etruscan kings in Central Italy) and establishes republican, consular rule (usually called the Roman Republic)
494 BCE Concession to the plebs leads to establishment of the Tribuni Plebis (People’s Tribunes); limited shared governance begins
100 BCE Gaius Julius Caesar born
60 BCE “First Triumvirate” (Amicitia) Pompey, Crassus, Julius Caesar
59 BCE Caesar 1st Consulship
49 BCE Caesar leads his army across the Rubicon River into Rome, civil war breaks out between Caesar and Pompey