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Tragedy of Coriolanus

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  9,819 Ratings  ·  540 Reviews
This generously annotated edition of Coriolanus offers a thorough reconsideration of Shakespeare's remarkable, and probably his last, tragedy. A substantial introduction situates the play within its contemporary social and political contexts and presents a fresh account of how the protagonist's personal tragedy evolves within Shakespeare's most searching exploration of the ...more
Paperback, Folger Shakespeare Library, 146 pages
Published November 1st 1983 by Washington Square Pr (first published 1605)
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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
Mar 08, 2014 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.

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.

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
Jan 05, 2017 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
Jan 28, 2014 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
Alp Turgut
Gurur temasını odak noktasına taşıyan "Coriolanus'un Tragedyası / The Tragedy of Coriolanus", oldukça karmaşık ve antipatik ana karakteriyle diğer tragedyalardan ayrılıyor. Diğerlerine nazaran daha soğuk bir tavrı olan oyunda halktan nefret etmesine rağmen vatan için yanıp tutuşan Coriolanus’un gururu sebebiyle çöküşü anlatılıyor. Coriolanus öyle bir karakter ki savaştaki başarılarından dolayı övünmekten nefret ediyor ve övülmekten de tiksiniyor. Bu yapısıyla alçakgönüllü bir tavır sergilese de ...more
Bryn Hammond
Feb 12, 2012 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
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 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,
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
Feb 14, 2010 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
Nov 25, 2013 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
Feb 28, 2016 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
Jul 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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
Feb 15, 2010 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
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
Nov 19, 2015 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
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
Liz Janet
Feb 28, 2015 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.
Nov 10, 2013 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
Jun 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fierce warrior, great general, total prat.
Oct 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shakespeare, in my opinion, really is the dog's bollocks.

I decided to read this (for the first time) before I see the new film version directed by and starring Ralph Fiennes opening this weekend. However, I was not prepared to be so bowled over by the sheer poetry of the master playwright WS. Reading the Bard, one is constantly reminded of the richness of the English language.

The character of Coriolanus is frustratingly macho and stubborn which ultimately leads to his downfull, for tragedy this
Dylan Grant
While not as good as Hamlet (but then again, what is?) Coriolanus is Shakespeare at his best. The titular character and his mother are extremely compelling characters. Volumnia's speeches, Coriolanus' confrontation with Alfidious after his exile, the political intrigue by the oligarchical patriciate of Rome, are all beautifully written and quotable scenes.

Any Julius Evola "Against the Modern World" types will love Coriolanus. In fact, Coriolanus is just Julius Evola as a Shakespeare character,
Feb 13, 2014 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.

„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
I jumped into this play with no fragment of knowledge about it; I found myself swept up into the see-saw of Caius Marcius' fortunes. The layers and textures still intrigue me.

Manifold motifs: naming, gratitude, pride, honor, tongues, integrity, courage, friendship, politics, alliances.

Laughed aloud: suffered me to be whoop'd out of Rome...

I definitely want to revisit this in the future.

(Aside — I was watching Game 5 of the Cubs-Dodgers National League playoff game. When the Dodgers went ahead
Ben Goodridge
I'm in full rebellion against the six thousand prefatory pages paperback Shakespeare insists on including, presumably to ensure that they can charge phat stackz for the privilege of purchasing a story that's been in the public domain for 400 years.

It's an interesting approach. Avoiding all the critical rhubarb means approaching these plays entirely without context. ("It's dangerous to go alone! Take this!") While this might seem like a poor means of foraging my way through the dense verse of you
Jul 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of history, historical fiction, and broken characters
Actual Rating: 4.9 Stars
Soundtrack: The Other Side by Woodkid

"Why did you wish me milder? Would you have me
False to my nature? Rather say I play
The man I am."

A tragedy of blood, fire, and steel, Coriolanus is perhaps the fiercest work of Shakespeare's that I have read to date.

My first experience with this play was seeing a Donmar production for my sixteenth birthday in a Memphis movie theater, with Tom Hiddleston in the title role. I was a bit familiar with the material, but I had no idea what
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
Nov 11, 2007 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
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Goodreads Librari...: Alternate book cover 2 12 Aug 05, 2014 12:10AM  
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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
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