Coriolanus Essay

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Source: "Coriolanus," in The Riverside Shakespeare, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1974, pp. 1392-95.

[In his critical Introduction to Coriolanus, Kermode surveys the principal areas of interest in the play. He examines Shakespeare's departure from the primary historical source of the drama, the writings of Plutarch. He comments on the deeply flawed char acter of Coriolanus, whose "aristocratic loutishness, " ferocity, and overdeveloped sense of virtues- the duty of a man- culminate in tragedy. Kermode mentions the relevance of Aristotle's dictum, "a man incapable of hung in society is either a god or a beast," as it applies to the figure of Coriolanus. Kermode likewise envisions the theme of the work as the Roman warrior's inability to curb the source of his strength- his brutality on the battlefield- when dealing in the political arena, an area that requires cunning and tact rather than the raw might Coriolanus possesses in abundance. Finally, Kermode...

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This section contains 3,289 words
(approx. 9 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Coriolanus Study Guide
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Coriolanus from Shakespeare for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.