Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Coriolanus” as Want to Read:
Coriolanus
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Book* *Different edition

Coriolanus

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  9,087 Ratings  ·  500 Reviews
Shakespeare's last tragedy explores the career and death of a brilliant and arrogant Roman general. This is an ambitious and intriguing story of heroism.
Audio, Abridged
Published December 1st 1999 by BBC Audiobooks (first published 1605)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Coriolanus, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Coriolanus

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Bill  Kerwin

I not only really like Shakespeare's Coriolanus: I also like the man Coriolanus as he is revealed in the play. Sure, he may be a hothead, an arrogant bully, an immature mama's boy with a proto-fascist personality, but he is also a man of extraordinary physical courage and sincere personal modesty who would like nothing better than to do his warrior's duty and be left alone.

Unfortunately, though, his mother--whose values are also those of the Roman republic--sees her son's patrician duty as incl
...more
Brian
Mar 08, 2014 Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

There are many gods, and when we organize and rank them we go too far, we ask too much of them.

- "Women and Men", Joseph McElroy


I am certain that had this play been written by anyone other than Shakespeare it would be venerated as a major work; performed and discussed perhaps in the way Hamlet, King Lear or Macbeth are. Written late in The Bard's career (it is the last of the Tragedies and the Histories), Coriolanus is his work that might be the most relevant and relatable to our modern world.

Ca
...more
Nicole~
Let the first budger die the other’s slave,
And the gods doom him after.
- Caius Marcius Coriolanus

Shakespeare turns to 5th century BC Roman history for a deeply serious drama depicted in combat scenes between fierce enemies, conflicts between patricians and the plebeians, and contrasting perspectives within family. His treatment of war, statesmen, citizens and family life is surprisingly unusual in that the common denominator in all, the hero, is motivated by a powerful mother-son dynamic.

Ca
...more
Cemre
Shakespeare yaşasa iddia ediyorum bugünden sonra Cemre'nin Tragedyası diye bir oyun yazardı. Çok kötü bir gün geçirdim ve fazla şey yazmaya mecalim yok. Bu sebeple oyunla ilgili kısaca birkaç şey söylemek istiyorum.

Pek çok sefer belirttim bunu, biliyorum; ama yine söylemek istiyorum ki ben Shakeapeare'i izlemeyi değil okumayı seviyorum. Sahnede bazı şeyler olmuyor gibi hissediyorum ya da belki de ben başarılı bir Shakespeare uyarlamasına hiç denk gelmedim. Buna karşın dediğim gibi Shakespeare'i
...more
Mario
Jan 05, 2017 Mario rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Going into this drama, I did not think that I would like it, because I was never really that much into dramas. I read The Tempest by Shakespeare last year, and I did not enjoy it. Now, when I finished it, it surprises me to say that I actually loved reading it. The story grabbed me at the beginning, and held me 'till the end. I do think that the drama could have been a couple of dozen pages shorter (that's why the 4 stars), but apart from that, I completely loved it. Hopefully my next drama by S ...more
Kirstine
Jan 28, 2014 Kirstine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From face to foot,
He was a thing of blood, whose every motion
Was timed with dying cries.


I recently went to see the Donmar Warehouse production of this play, so of course I read it beforehand. The production was excellent and only heightened my appreciation of it.

Reading this I started out a little weary. It’s one of the lesser known Shakespeare plays, and I’d never heard of it until I found out about the Donmar Warehouse show, so I had no idea even what it was really about. But as I read I k
...more
Wiebke (1book1review)
This play took me by surprise, I had not heard of it before and only read it because I wanted to watch the adaptation with Tom Hiddleston. And lucky me, this was such an interesting play and this edition was just the right one to give me enough background information and interpretation ways that I could make the most out of the play.
Being thus prepared I could appreciate the adaptation a lot better and enjoyed it tremendously.

I can only recommend it, if you get the chance to watch it.
David Sarkies
Nov 04, 2013 David Sarkies rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Shakespeare Lovers
Shelves: tragedy
Generals do not make good politicians
7 November 2013

This is a story about a General who is thrust into the world of politics, namely because he was such a good general. However, while he happpens to be a great general, as a politician he positively sucks. Basically, Gaius Marcius' main flaw (despite the fact that I don't believe in fatal flaws) is that he simply speaks his mind, which is a noble characteristic is most professions, but not in politics. To put it bluntly, Marcius (aka Coriolanus,
...more
Bryn Hammond
Feb 12, 2012 Bryn Hammond rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm told Coriolanus, the person, is unlikeable, but I happen to like him. I don't even think he's a right-wing bastard, just shy, awkward and misunderstood. It's his severe self-effacement that makes him hate publicity. Who wants to stand in the market and exhibit your wounds in a stupid political stunt? And his thickheadedness, the fact he has no idea when to use that soldierly bluntness and when to keep his trap shut, is a naivety I like against the politics of Rome. He's a soldier, yes, but a ...more
Jeannette Nikolova
I don't have much to say about Shakespeare that hasn't already been said, and I don't feel worthy of even trying, but essentially, I think Coriolanus has a lot to offer in therms of psychology, especially psychology of the masses. It is hard trying to analyze something that has already been written about in many textbooks, but for me, at least, Coriolanus's leitmotif is the herd behavior. Of course, there are many other sub ideas, but the most interesting thing to read about was the way society ...more
Carrie
Nov 25, 2013 Carrie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This play made me realize how good Shakespeare really is. I had honestly never heard of "Coriolanus", and I picked it up to read because the National Theatre Live is broadcasting it live on January 30, 2014.

I have read a few of the basic Shakespeare plays - "Hamlet", "Macbeth", "A Midsummer Night's Dream", "Julius Caesar" - the usual suspects. The problem is that I already knew how they would end, more or less. I don't remember a time in my life when I didn't know the plot and ending of "Romeo
...more
Eric
Feb 14, 2010 Eric rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Caius Marcius Coriolanus on the public he would rule:

He that will give good words to thee will flatter
Beneath abhorring. What would you have, you curs,
That like nor peace nor war? the one affrights you,
The other makes you proud. He that trusts to you,
Where he should find you lions, finds you hares;
Where foxes, geese: you are no surer, no,
Than is the coal of fire upon the ice,
Or hailstone in the sun.



The fires i’ th’ lowest hell fold in the people!

His opponents the demagogic tribunes, tho
...more
Aubrey
Feb 28, 2016 Aubrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The only reason I can get the smallest grasp of appreciation for this play is that my natural interest in politics has been wrung through the wringer of six Shakespearean tragedies previous. This is the incompatibility of war and peace in Titus Adronicus crammed into the crucible of democracy and dictatorship, wherein power to the people will forever be a ruse so long as a single conscience can conceptualize the people as the abject. I won't lie and say I'd like the look of this on stage better ...more
Ben
Jul 22, 2013 Ben rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Boy!


Never has Shakespeare entertained me so much. He has confounded me, interrogated me and mirrored me but never has he handed me a summer Hollywood blockbuster - a chilling and thrilling script of violent tragedy stoking societal passions from all sides.

Despite the gripping plot, I tried to focus on Caius Marcius' character. As in all of Shakespeare's plays, the characteristics of a hero or villain shape the play and bend our sympathies - not the action or twisting storylines. Through this rea
...more
Marquise
This is an excellent drama, very political in terms of plotline and very main character-driven, a rarity for a Shakespearean play. It's written in verse for the most part, with sections in plain prose, and covers the later years in the life of Roman general Caius Martius Coriolanus, patrician war hero of the Volscian/Roman wars, as chronicled by Plutarch in his Lives.

The story has a straight pull forward: The Volsces, an Italian tribe, start a war with Rome and the city calls its most brilliant
...more
Maria
Nov 19, 2015 Maria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Roman general Caius Marcius is nicknamed Coriolanus translated from Latin as "Conqueror of Coriolis", after dealing with success with Rome's enemies in the homonymous town.

I believe that Shakespeare didn't mean "anus" like Romans did i.e. "ring", a signet ring as a prize on the finger of a champion, but as we use it, hence Coriolanus is "that asshole from Coriolis". Furthermore, since "coriolis" means "secure", Coriolanus is the "security/militant asshole" or a saving-his-own-ass guy.

Anyway this
...more
Terence
In anticipation of the release of a new filmed version of Coriolanus, I reread the play in Dec 2011.

It remains a difficult play to enjoy, and I'm going to retain my 2-star rating - it's OK compared to other Shakespeare plays.

The protagonist is an arrogant, spoiled, immature patrician whose disgust for Rome's plebeians is so manifest and violent that his enemies easily manipulate the citizens into banishing him. He flies to his chief enemy, Tullus Aufidius, the leader of the Volsces, and returns
...more
Jim
Feb 15, 2010 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, shakespeare
Shakespeare's Coriolanus is both noble and so stiff-necked that he cannot compromise his principles -- and this at a time when tribunes have been chosen to represent the common people that the Roman hero professes to loathe. Despite his heroic victories in the best, the tribunes have him exiled, whereupon he goes straight to Tullus Aufidius of the Volsces, Rome's most bitter enemy. Invading Rome with Aufidius, Coriolanus is stopped dead in his tracks only by his mother Volumnia and his wife and ...more
Liz Janet
Feb 28, 2015 Liz Janet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
An arrogant Roman general switches sides, wants political power, has horrid temperament, is deposed, wants revenge, death comes for him.
Nina
Nov 10, 2013 Nina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uk-and-ireland
Donmar Warehouse in Covent Garden is setting up this play in December and January, starring Tom Hiddleston (Loki in Avengers, Capt. Nicholls in War Horse, loveliest guy in the world), Hadley Fraser (a number of roles in Les Mis, Raoul in Phantom of the Opera) and Mark Gatiss (Mycroft in BBC's Sherlock), and honestly, how could we resist? The tickets sold out in 20 minutes, and with that lineup it is completely understandable. We are seeing this in early January and can't wait. Expectations are h ...more
Toni
Feb 13, 2014 Toni rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
За един воин всичко започва и завършва с него самия!
Карлос Кастанеда

Признавам си – виновна! Макар да харесвам Уилям Шекспир, единствената причина, поради която посегнах точно сега към тази пиеса беше желанието ми да гледам изпълнението на Том Хидълстън като Кориолан в постановката на Британския национален театър.
description
description
description

„Кориолан” е една от по-малко известните трагедии на Шекспир, но също така може би една от най-мрачните и политизирани, изключително актуални за времето си творби. Все пак, днес тя мо
...more
Yara (The Narratologist)
Coriolanus is one of Shakespeare’s least read, least performed, and all around least popular plays. It is not as poetic compared to his other works, the story is dark and very political, and sympathetic characters are thin on the ground. And yet I am glad that Tom Hiddleston’s star power (and Ralph Fiennes’ film adaptation a couple of years before that) has brought it back into the public consciousness, because Coriolanus has a lot to offer and asks a number of provoking questions about power, d ...more
Núria
Nov 11, 2007 Núria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: los que sufren de complejo de Edipoo los que no soportan la hipocresia
(10.03.2010: Esta reseña la escribí hace casi siete años. Creo que ahora diría esencialmente lo mismo, pero lo escribiría de forma ligeramente distinta.)




(01.08.2004)'Coriolano' es una de las mejores obras de Shakespeare. Aunque en un principio me pareció que la temática de la obra no me diría nada en particular, al acabar me di cuenta de que es una de las obras de Shakespeare con las que tengo más afinidades. Primero, porque habla de enfrentamientos entre patricios y el pueblo y da una visión mu
...more
Ed
Apr 18, 2009 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shakespeare
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
DayDreamer
AUFIDIUS
O Marcius, Marcius!
Each word thou hast spoke hath weeded from my heart
A root of ancient envy. If Jupiter
Should from yond cloud speak divine things,
And say ‘Tis true,’ I’ld not believe them more
Than thee, all noble Marcius. Let me twine
Mine arms about that body, where against
My grained ash an hundred times hath broke
And scarr’d the moon with splinters: here I clip
The anvil of my sword, and do contest
As hotly and as nobly with thy love
As ever in ambitious strength I did
Contend against thy
...more
Frances
Feb 06, 2016 Frances rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young adult and older
Recommended to Frances by: Literature guidelines, texts to choose from
Shelves: classics, plays
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ruth
Feb 08, 2014 Ruth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Caius Marcius Coriolanus is a flawed character. He can be angry:

'You common cry of curs! whose breath I hate
As reek o' the rotten fens, whose loves I prize
As the dead carcasses of unburied men
That do corrupt my air - I banish you;
And here remain with your uncertainty!
Let every feeble rumour shake your hearts!
Your enemies, with nodding of their plumes,
Fan you into despair! Have the power still
To banish your defenders; till at length
Your ignorance, - which finds not till it feels, -
Making not your
...more
Stuart Aken
Jan 01, 2012 Stuart Aken rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ah, the Bard. I’m gradually sifting through his works, reading for the sheer pleasure of his language. Coriolanus is one of his tragedies, of course. That it’s been recently filmed, (not that I’ve seen the movie) is a surprise only in that it’s a play begging to be made into a film. With the violence, treachery, wonderfully flawed hero and the battle scenes, it’s a plot made for Hollywood.

The tragedy of the eponymous hero is his combination of social pride and an inability to understand the diff
...more
tysephine
According to the introduction of this text, Coriolanus is put forth as an unlikeable character, one who it is impossible to sympathize with. I find that to be a load of crap. (Yes, this is a v. serious review of Shakespeare.)

The character of Coriolanus is one I find compelling, and throughout the whole play I hoped for the best for him. They say it is bad that he is too proud to ask the people for their support of his consul-ship, but I think it speaks to the strength of his character that he r
...more
GiGi
Aug 05, 2015 GiGi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Shakespeare's tragedies
Shelves: plays, british
Martius/Coriolanus is actually interesting to me, as are his relationships. Unfortunately I feel like this play lacks the amazing language that Shakespeare shows off in, say, A Midsummer Night's Dream. Perhaps it's the incredibly low popularity of this work compared to Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, and King Lear(thus it lacks the mystique surrounding those plays) but something about it felt bare. The atmosphere...is different–it seems base, wretched...hopeless for Coriolanus.
The plot and many aspec
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Alternate book cover 2 12 Aug 05, 2014 12:10AM  
  • The Changeling
  • Edward II
  • The Alchemist
  • The White Devil
  • 'Tis Pity She's a Whore and Other Plays
  • Samson Agonistes
  • The Spanish Tragedy
  • Plays 5: Arcadia / The Real Thing / Night and Day / Indian Ink / Hapgood
  • The Master Builder
  • Iphigeneia in Tauris
  • All for Love
  • Shakespeare and Co.: Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Dekker, Ben Jonson, Thomas Middleton, John Fletcher and the Other Players in His Story
  • Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?
947
William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been tr ...more
More about William Shakespeare...

Share This Book



“More of your conversation would infect my brain.” 64 likes
“They lie deadly that tell you have good faces.” 50 likes
More quotes…