So with the new movie out in theaters (and a certain special review on the way), I’m in a Coriolanus mood. I’ll be honest, I’m just not that familiar with the play. Here’s my nutshell understanding:
Caius Martius is this war hero for Rome. He’s recently given the title Coriolanus for almost single-handedly winning the battle at Corioles (reminds one of Macbeth getting his Glamis/Cawdor titles). He’s also got this really uncomfortably close relationship with his mother, and everybody knows it. Anyway, his advisors tell him to seek a political career, even though he’s a warrior not a politician. It goes bad and he ends up banished from his own city. So he takes up with his sworn enemy and leads them in an attack on the homeland the betrayed him. That is, until his mother comes and talks him out of it.
So, I have a couple of questions that I thought maybe people could explain to me?
* How exactly does it go so badly for Coriolanus in his political quest? How does someone go from national hero to banished traitor literally in the span of two scenes?
* How are we supposed to read his mother? That she loves her son, or that she loves Rome (and herself) more? The more it seems obvious that she manipulated him to get what she wanted, it just makes him look stupid for not seeing through it. Or, is that what we’re supposed to see? He’s just this war machine that others manipulate for their own purposes, his own mother included?
I’m sure I’ll think of others. Feel free to add your own if you’ve always wondered.