Coriolanus – Act 2

March 23, 2006

One of the biggest things that struck me in Act Two was how important courageousness was as a virtue. A courageous and spirited nature is so important that it sometimes causes people to partially lose sight of some critical flaws, which prevent someone from being a great leader. Coriolanus clearly displays in Act Two that he is arrogant, has a general disregard for people that are of lower class then him, has no real ability to articulate himself and what he is thinking, and has now desire for any role other than that of being a warrior leading troops into battle.

Menenius is arguing with two of the tribunes about how arrogant Martius is. They conveniently drop and forget their conversation when they hear how Coriolanus was victorious in battle. Volumnia comes in. She says, “Oh he is wounded. I thank the Gods for it.” Volumnia and Menenius at one point discuss how many scars and wounds Coriolanus has. Coriolanus’ desire for courageousness was very much influenced by his mother. When Coriolanus comes in, he kneels infront of his mother.

There is the idea that Coriolanus will be appointed to consul, a top position in the republic. Appointing him to this position as a way to honor his great courageousness. Of course, he has to get up in front of the people and persuade them to support him for consul. These are the people that he so plainly despises. The question is can they be won over by how many battle wounds he has and how great a warrior he is.

Coriolanus may be a courageous master of the battlefield but he has no idea of politics, cooperation, or deliberation. Coriolanus really has a hard time standing up and addressing the people. In Act Two Scene Two, when everyone is at the Senate making the pitch for Coriolanus to become consul, Cominius is forced to get up and describe Coriolanus’ virtues. Again later Coriolanus talks about how hard it is for him to address the people. He says, “I do beseech you, Let me o’erlap that custom; for I cannot put on the gown, stand naked, and entreat them for my wounds’ sake to give their suffrage. Please you that I may pass this doing.”

The plebians/people realizes how much power that they have in the situation. They know that in the past they have been seen as a fickle diverse crowd but if they talked with one voice they could be powerful. Coriolanus comes out to talk to the people. He realizes that he hasn’t gotten here because he is a great political leader but because he is a great warrior. He is forced to use his battle tales to win people over. The people are not fooled though. They see right through it. Brutus says, “Did you perceive he did solicit you in free contempt when he did need your loves, and do you think that his contempt shall not be bruising to you when he hath power to crush you?”


Wine Bible: Chaptalization, Loire Valley, Alsace

March 20, 2006


In places like Northern France, where growing seasons can be very weird because of the temperatures, it is possible for the grapes to not ripen enough to create enough sugar. Sugar is necessary in the fermentation process in order to get the right amount of alcohol. In chaptalization wine makers can add more sugar during or before the fermentation processs in order for their to be more alcohol.

Loire Valley

The are very well known for the white wines. There are regions like Muscadet, Vouvray, Sancerre, and Poully Fume.

A lot of the wine business is handled by negotiants. They want wine to be an expression of the terroir.

Through the valley runs the Loire river. There are 50 appelations. This means there are TONS of varieties. The cool climate causes the wine to have a high acidity or a nervosite.

The region are divided into west, central, and east.

The key grapes are chenin blanc and sauvignon blanc.

Muscadet is a little bland but seafood really brings out its flavors. It goes through the sur lie process.

Cremant is the sparkling wine of the region.

Chenin blanc is the central region. Vourvray is made with 100% chenin blanc.

Sauvignon blanc is a main grape of the eastern part of the region. Eastern region are known for their chalky and wet rock walls.


At a few times in history this area has belonged to Germany. There was a battle between France and Germany for this area. It is protected from the cold weather by the Volsges mountains.

The big grapes are muscat, pinot gris, riesling, pinot blanc, and gewurztraminer.

They really value their grapes and their wines. All of their wines are 100% of that grape.

The premiere rating a wine can get is Grand Cru.

Alsace whites all age well. It helps to have a good balance of fruit and alcohol. It also helps to have a good amount of acidity.

The region has a lot of fine rich foods. These go well with the Alsace wines.

The Wine Bible – So so much you can learn about wine

March 17, 2006

For my Wines of the World II class, we are reading “The Wine Bible” by Karen MacNeil.

There is plenty of reading that I have to do. I will post my notes up here.

Shakespeare Could Lay The Verbal Smack Down

March 17, 2006

I am finding ton of awesome shakespearean insults. I am going to start a new page for the blog to collect them. If you have some favorites, throw them in the comments.

Coriolanus – Act 1 Scenes 2-3

March 16, 2006

Act 1 Scene 2

In this scene Tullus Aufidius is discussing with one of his senators that Caius Martius is moving against him.

He essentially says, “let’s get it on.” Aufidius recognizes that Martius is a worth competitor.

Act 1 Scene 3

Caius Martius’s wife Virgilia and mother Volumnia are sitting around and talking. Vigilia explains about why she liked that her son was a military man. There is a lot of honor being in the military. She believes its better to fight with honor than to not have fought at all.

It sounds like his mom might be a little bit domineering over him.

Virgilia has much concern about her husband being in battle. She doesn’t want anything to happen to him.

A woman comes in to tell them that Caius Martius is going up against the Volsces.

Coriolanus – Act 1 Scene 1

March 14, 2006

So apparently all the people are pretty pissed off at Caius Martius (who later becomes called Coriolanus)…

First, you know Caius Marcius is chief enemy to the people.

They want to go after Caius Martius because they don’t have enough grain and apparently he has the grain. He sounds like he is also a very proud and arrogrant man.

Menenius comes into the scene. He wants to know what all the ruckus is about. He tells a metaphor about how the different parts of a society are similar to a body. Menenius calms down the riotess crowd.

Caius Martius comes into the scene. He wants to know what is wrong.

Thanks.—What’s the matter, you dissentious rogues
That, rubbing the poor itch of your opinion,
Make yourselves scabs?

The crowd disperses.

A messenger comes to Caius Martius and lets him know that the Volsces are taking up arms, like they are getting ready for war. Tullus Aufidiuous is apparently a pretty strong leader. Caius Martius is pretty envious of his strength. They all leave.

Sicinius and Brutus stick around. They talk about how arrogant Caius Martius is. Martius serves under Cominius. Cominius has won lots of awards because of how good Martius is.

Read Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Coriolanus With Me

March 14, 2006

I found the text of Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Coriolanus up on the web. If you want to read the book with me, check it out. The book isn’t that long.

The Start of An Adventure

March 14, 2006

Welcome to my book notes blog, my new venture.

I find that I am constantly reading, especially with being in college.

I also have found that I am more likely to remember what I read if I take notes of what I am reading.

So…I decided to start a blog where I am goign to post my book notes.

My notes will be very quick. I will probably inject some questions and maybe some thoughts.

I hope that by the time that I am done to have a whole commentary on a bunch of books.

I welcome discussion and conversation. Please ask questions and make comments. If you have read a book that I am reading let me know. You will see the book list in the categories.

For all my other thoughts on life, the universe, and everything, check out my blog Confessions of an Undercover Geek.