Rachel's Reviews > Coriolanus

Coriolanus by William Shakespeare
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's review
Feb 15, 09

bookshelves: theater-film, 16th-17th-centuries
Read in July, 2008, read count: Twice

One of the more oddly acerbic of Shakespeare's tragedies, Coriolanus suffers from a rather unlikeable central character, and an uncharacteristically petty catalyst for the plot's denouement, but it still somehow manages to be fascinating and engrossing, largely beacause of Coriolanus' startlingly strong mother, Volumnia, and his relationship with Aufidius, his enemy/comrade/lover (the latter is not textually overt, but has been interperted as such in numerous productions, and it is easy to say where the actors and directors get it). Filled with brittlely wonderful blank verse that stings the reader's tongue like vinegar, and endlessly shifting loyalties that require an expert actor to justify them, Coriolanus is an unexpected delight for Shakespeare lovers who have already sighed with Romeo, ruminated with Hamlet, despaired with Desdemona and raged with Lear, but will likely prove baffling and distressing to readers not yet familiar with Shakespeare's more emotionally genuine tragedies.
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