I must be honest – I had not read the play. We read the obligatory tragedies in high school: Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, Hamlet and Macbeth. Also, we went to see The Taming of the Shrew as performed by an all-female cast (awesome). In college, I took a class on Shakespeare’s comedies: All’s Well that Ends Well, As You Like It, The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night and The Winter’s Tale.
Despite only reading the synopsis on Wikipedia and skimming the first scene, I think I followed along pretty well. And I enjoyed the play. And the actress who played Volumnia was amazing. But I really couldn’t understand why it was a tragedy. Coriolanus isn’t a tragic hero; he’s a rich douchebag.
I got to thinking – maybe this was a commentary on Mitt Romney? If so, might I recommend the following line to be inserted somewhere in III, i?:
Junius Brutus: So, Caius Marcius Coriolanus, do you follow chariot racing?
Coriolanus: Not as closely as some of the most ardent fans, but I have some friends who are chariot team owners.
…I learned that Hell is supposed to be somewhere where God is not with you. This made no sense to me, because God is supposedly everywhere. When I asked my religion teacher about this, she said something to the effect of, “well, God chooses not to be in Hell.” It’s been a decade and I still don’t know what that means.
…my religion teacher told me that it was a sin to pollute the Earth and waste resources. This teacher drove a giant SUV.
…my geometry teacher helped us with a mnemonic to remember what a six-sided polygon is called. She tiptoed to the classroom door, closed it quietly and then tiptoed back to where she had been standing. She learned forward and whispered, “Six. Sex. Hex.” She paused for a moment, clearly embarrassed about using the “S”-word. Then she opened the classroom door again and went back to teaching as though nothing had happened.