Coriolanus knows how to deliver a threat!

Right now is that wonderful and stressful time before school when you realize that you have to move out of your house, move into somewhere else, buy new clothes, housewares, schoolbooks, say good-bye to your friends aaaand hopefully get a jump-start on one, at least one, assignment!

My project of choice is my grant application, due in November. I don’t expect to complete it in the next two weeks, but I figure that I’ll thank myself for the outline later. As I was reading over the notes I wrote circa November (and I thank myself for those, now!), I came across such a deliciously Arresting Image, spoken by Coriolanus.

A very hunky Kenneth Branagh as Coriolanus, in a 1992 production also starring Judi Dench

This is a lesser-known  Shakespearean play, one in which the title character is both the protagonist and his own worst enemy. And his country’s. A prominent warrior, Coriolanus refuses to display his war wounds to the masses, a common way to share Rome’s military victory with the rest of the nation. Perhaps a victim of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, the character does not wish to pander to the plebeians, and his rejection gets insulting, quickly. He is eventually exiled from his own country, and then teams up with his former enemy to get his revenge on Rome. Very teenage daddy issues. But a teenager couldn’t come up with a threat as gruesomely poetic is this:

‘Hence, rotten thing, or I shall shake thy bones / Out of thy garments’ (III.i.180-1)

I hope for your own sake that next time you hear this threat, it will be coming out of Ralph Fiennes’s mouth in his modern-dress  cinematic adaptation of the play, featuring none other than the interminable Vanessa Redgrave as Volumnia and the super-sexy Gerard Butler as the macho (and maybe a little camp) Aufidius.

Ahhh… I needed that. Now, back to work!


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