Coriolanus | Critical Essay by Christopher Givan

This literature criticism consists of approximately 21 pages of analysis & critique of Coriolanus.
This section contains 6,126 words
(approx. 21 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Christopher Givan

Critical Essay by Christopher Givan

SOURCE: Givan, Christopher. “Shakespeare's Coriolanus: The Premature Epitaph and the Butterfly.” Shakespeare Studies 12 (1979): 143-58.

In the following essay, Givan traces the sources of Coriolanus's self-destructive behavior.

The question of who Coriolanus is has become a critical stumbling block to understanding the play.1 The prevailing critical opinion chooses to deal with the hero's enigmatic character by oversimplifying him. G. Wilson Knight's view is still typical: “He is rather like a finely modelled motor-cycle, flashing in bright paint and steel, every line suggesting power and speed, standing among a row of pedal-bicycles.”2 Operating here is what might be called the tendency towards reification, whereby the hero is regarded as a thing, an instrument, or as Knight calls him later on a “fighting machine.” Eugene Waith's3 treatment of the play ascribes...

(read more)

This section contains 6,126 words
(approx. 21 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Christopher Givan