run like iron through his soul


Senior Member
The heart of Claudio was sorely grieved when he found he had falsely accused Hero, who, he thought, died upon hearing his cruel words; and the memory of his beloved Hero’s image came over him, in the rare semblance that he loved it first; and the prince asking him if what he heard did not run like iron through his soul, he answered, that he felt as if he had taken poison while Borachio was speaking.

Tales From Shakespeare by Charles Lamb

What does run like iron in this context mean?
Please help. Thank you.
  • PaulQ

    English - England
    Iron runs when it is melted: the idea is that the liquid iron is hot and burns anything it touches - this figuratively describes the effect on Claudio's "soul" (i.e. conscience). If something 'burns' your conscience, it causes you to feel great guilt, sadness and regret.
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