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The Supervillain Reader$
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Robert Moses Peaslee and Robert G. Weiner

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781496826466

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2020

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496826466.001.0001

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Milton’s Satan1

Milton’s Satan1

(p.125) Chapter 12 Milton’s Satan1
The Supervillain Reader

John Carey

University Press of Mississippi

In Shakespeare’s Coriolanus, Caius Maritus Coriolanus is a superhuman Roman warrior who conquers an army of enemy Volsces in Corioles, and then returns to Rome a hero but also a potential tyrant whom the people then exile. Proud and vengeful, Coriolanus travels to Antium to join the Volsces with the promise of conquering Rome, but on campaign Coriolanus strangely metamorphoses into a dragon-like creature, until at last his mother Volumnia enters the camp as emissary and reverses his metamorphosis by speech alone, reducing her son to tears and terror in front of the Volsces, who ultimately execute him for treason. While Coriolanus has never been one of Shakespeare's more popular plays, the character of Coriolanus seems to metamorphose yet again, this time within the world of DC Comics, to become one of the most popular superheroes of all time: Superman.

Keywords:   Shakespeare, Coriolanus, Superman, Aristotle, Metamorphosis

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