Coriolanus | J. L. Simmons

This literature criticism consists of approximately 13 pages of analysis & critique of Coriolanus.
This section contains 3,641 words
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J. L. Simmons

SOURCE: "Antony and Cleopatra and Coriolanus, Shakespeare's Heroic Tragedies: A Jacobean Adjustment," in Shakespeare Survey, Vol. 26, 1973, pp. 95-101.

In the essay that follows, Simmons compares Coriolanus and Antony and Cleopatra, claiming that the former play glorifies the plebeians as the moral center of the state.

Shakespeare wrote many plays about heroes, but only Antony and Cleopatra and Coriolanus are distinguished by heroic appeals that are exclusively and definitively aristocratic. Coriolanus and Cleopatra make strange bedfellows; yet despite their different life styles they share an unyielding horror of being scrutinized and judged by a vulgar audience. When the Queen of Egypt contemplates her dishonor at the hands of Octavius, her most terrifying thought is the vulgarization of her nobility in a dramatic representation for a popular Roman audience:

Cleopatra. Now, Iras, what think'st thou?
Thou an Egyptian puppet shall be shown
In Rome as well...

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This section contains 3,641 words
(approx. 13 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the J. L. Simmons