Nov 3rd Lecture Notes Lecture notes from the first of a series of lectures on Coriolanus. Extensive, detailed.

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Published on 16 Oct 2011
School
UTSG
Department
English
Course
ENG336H1
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of 4
Topics in Shakespeare
Coriolanus
Fable of the bell 1.1
“Incorporate” friends
from the Latin Corpus = body
relationship between singular body and a corporate body (one in which
many people have joined together in a larger model)
perhaps a society
making lots of money off the common people
moment where we can see the ideal of government being advanced by Common
Rome as stemming from the individual body
one explanation for the divergent movements in the play to bring things together
to incorporate multitude into a whole
Image as a multi-headed monster; possessing diversity and noises disparate
uncontainable rambling
Body that refuses to assimilate into one
Body of Coriolanus inverse of the multi-headed dragon pierced; full of holes
rather than having multiple limbs
Fragmentation of the body
Incorporating mechanism by which we take into our bodies food which is then
digested
Image of digestion
Object of renaissance was to digest the texts of the classical world central tenet
of humanism
Image of incorporation to take something inside the body and make it ones
own
Involves a process of translation taking something in in Latin and pulling it out
in English.
Deals with the history of Rome carried to Shakespeare by means of classical
historians
Marcius God of War in a sense this is who he is
Calls them “you fragments” – fragmentation of body
2.3
Conversation between Coriolanus‟ mother Volumnia and his wife
If my son were my husband ick
Scary version of heroism
Volumnia extremely manipulative; lives vicariously through Coriolanus
Kind of emotional cross-dressing = woman who isn‟t content of being a woman in
her culture. Vents her warlike spirit through her son.
She gives an extraordinary image of Coriolanus.
Grim reaper imagery cutting down life
Iconic moment in the play
Amalgamation of figure of the harvest man who is simultaneously the reaper with
a scythe harvest on the one hand providing food (play opens with the harvest)
and the sense of a military man wiping his bloody brow associated with
mortality who has to mow down those in front of him. They are very much in
contrast
Brought together through the reaper figure a killer of crops and flesh
1.5
Speech associated with Coriolanus
Medical imagery in the play
Animal imagery (“Souls of geese”)
Summons his own courage from a source that is in his anger with others power
derives from his degradation of others (no one is as strong as he is)
Rises above because he seeks to be better than them and crush them with his
words
He has the rhetoric of service but his power is at the expense of the multitude
Man of action rather than politics (does not use words in diplomatic ways)
Brutus and Saginneas (?) are arch politicians always working with language and
the people
1.6
Figure being interpreted with particular attributes
For his mother he is the harvest man
Here he is the flayed man
o Mantled in his own blood
His ecstasy and success in war is likened to love
Titian Flaying of Marsyas
He is flayed alive as a punishment
Removed his skin
Idea of flaying
We‟ve talked about wounds
Cynthia‟s essay
Something about flaying removal of skin causes the disillusion of the
body
Skin is the boundary between inside and outside the body
Also a process that causes the organs to lose their identity???
Beginning of central event
Display of wounds
Coriolanus‟ reluctance to show wounds
Coriolanus is horrified by the ritual he‟ll have to perform – to relay his body
before the populace
His body is like a text written on
And he has to describe where the scars come from
Marks of memory
Doesn‟t want to brag about them
Physical revolt detestation of the populace
Talks about how they are unclean, smell bad, bad breath
Their base bodies disgust him
Refusal to show his own body to them
1.10
Cominius talking about how he will praise Coriolanus
You already know what its like to be on the receiving end of this praise
Projection into the future of a theatrical spectacle
Audiences emotional reaction to a speech
To conceal value is a kind of theft
I have some wounds upon me and they smart to hear themselves remembered
Orifice from mouth
Vulnerable comes from the word wound
Something about the language of wounds that are like mouths
The wound is like lips
Speaking body in which the wounds of Coriolanus‟ body have the ability to
feel; smart
Cominius has decided to give his noble steed to Coriolanus and he will name him
Corioli
Act of naming conferral of identity
Relationship between a place name and our person ex: we are
Canadians
Kind of stamp that confers identity
Question of character character as a pressing or imprinting to make a
letter; but also an imprinting that makes an identity
Coriolanus is garlanded but also baptized in blood
2.1
Menenius is chastising Brutus for chastising Coriolanus for being proud
Interior survey of your good selves
Partly about the interiority of the early modern subject
Inside that can be correlated to personality
Humorous
Portrait of someone whose humours are inclined to the ?
See the action of synecdoche
Opposite of interiority as if there were no interior the same can be said of
Coriolanus
Whatever he thinks is right out there same with Menenius
Complicated speech
Physiognomy idea that we can read character in a face
o Characteristics were often aligned with animals
o Ex: Leonine face
o Correlates the outside appearance of the face with the interior
o What is the relationship between inside and outside
Talks a lot about medicine; diseases; cures
Menenius is about to receive a letter from Coriolanus
Exchange between Menenius, Virgilia and Volumina
Strange and twisted
Virgilia repeatedly exemplifies tender heartedness and human compassion
repulsion that her husband will be wounded
Fetishizing wounds
Cataloging wounds
Wounds as blazoning itemization of the body part by part
Blazoning vs. dissection published at the same time both segmenting
the body
Rape of Lucrese Shakespeare‟s meta-discourse on the language of the
blazon.
Idea of flesh as a grave antichrist?
Proleptic version of Christian rhetoric death becomes a resurrection
Idea of showing the resurrected Christ meets up with Thomas when he
doesn‟t believe it‟s the same person, Christ tells him to put his hand in his
wound this is the flash to which death came
Wounds as a testament to the adventure and martial exploits
2.2
Monster‟d
Monsters in the Tempest
Amplification
The grotesque
Doesn‟t want them to become public property
Divide between actions and words
Wounds are like nothings holes not an addition, rather a subtraction
Female genitalia - he‟s to something added nothing
o Often imaged as a „not‟ „nothing‟ or „zero‟

Document Summary

Incorporate friends from the latin corpus = body relationship between singular body and a corporate body (one in which many people have joined together in a larger model) Making lots of money off the common people. Moment where we can see the ideal of government being advanced by common. One explanation for the divergent movements in the play to bring things together. Image as a multi-headed monster; possessing diversity and noises disparate uncontainable rambling. Body that refuses to assimilate into one. Body of coriolanus inverse of the multi-headed dragon pierced; full of holes rather than having multiple limbs. Incorporating mechanism by which we take into our bodies food which is then digested. Object of renaissance was to digest the texts of the classical world central tenet of humanism. Image of incorporation to take something inside the body and make it ones own. Involves a process of translation taking something in in latin and pulling it out in english.