Brain Snacks: Tasty Tidbits of Knowledge
The character "President Coriolanus Snow" (the ruthless dictator in The Hunger Games) is a shout-out to the same ancient Roman leader in Shakespeare's play. That would be Coriolanus, who is often accused of being a wanna-be tyrant.
Here's how the Reduced Shakespeare Company sums up Coriolanus in their Tweeting Shakespeare Project: "Aloof, non-sympathetic warrior dies. MORAL: People skills matter." Sounds about right to us.
T.S. Eliot loved Coriolanus so much that he gave a shout-out to the play in The Waste Land: "Revive for a moment broken Coriolanus." Eliot also wrote a poem ("Coriolan") based on the play. (source)
Oh, did we also mention that T.S. Eliot said Coriolanus was a better "artistic success than Hamlet"? Shhh. Don't tell Harold Bloom. (source)
A 1933-34 production of Coriolanus at the Comédie-Française sparked deadly riots outside the theater. Both Fascist and Communist sympathizers argued that the play was propaganda for the other side.