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William Shakespeare

Book Overview: 

Shakespeare was passionately interested in the history of Rome, as is evident from plays like Titus Andronicus, Julius Caesar, and Antony and Cleopatra. His tragedy Coriolanus dramatizes the rise and fall of a great Roman general, Caius Martius (later surnamed Coriolanus because of his military victory at Corioli). This play is unusual in that it provides a strong voice for the ordinary citizens of Rome, who begin the play rioting about the high price of food, and who continually clash with Coriolanus because of his contempt for plebians.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .With flight and agued fear! Mend, and charge home,
Or, by the fires of heaven, I'll leave the foe
And make my wars on you: look to't: come on;
If you'll stand fast we'll beat them to their wives,
As they us to our trenches.

[Another alarum. The Volsces and Romans re-enter, and the fight is renewed. The Volsces retire into Corioli, and MARCIUS follows them to the gates.]

So, now the gates are ope:—now prove good seconds:
'Tis for the followers fortune widens them,
Not for the fliers: mark me, and do the like.

[He enters the gates]

Fool-hardiness: not I.

Nor I.

[MARCIUS is shut in.]

See, they have shut him in.

To th' pot, I warrant him.

[Alarum continues]

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Community Reviews

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

Coriolanus solidified my Shakespeare obsession. I'd become familiar with the canon--Hamlet, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, The Tempest, R&J, etc--but then I read Coriolanus and couldn't believe it. There was this play, rarely talked about, that's as brilliant--if not more brilliant--than all the others so

I struggled on and off when reading this. This is my first time reading Shakespeare since high school but I powered through it. There are glossary terms in the footnotes which was helpful. The editor gave a history of the theater in Shakespeare's time and an in-depth analysis of the Coriolanus and t

“There hath been many great men that have flattered the people who ne’er loved them.”

“Coriolanus” is a Shakespeare that I feel is underappreciated. Like in his “Julius Caesar”, the Bard has captured the momentum and the irony of political life in a manner that is celebratory and derisive at the same

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 wh

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