Coriolanus Essay

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Norman Rabkin has considered Shakespeare's representation of the body politic in Coriolanus, and finds his vision to be deeply pessimistic. Beginning with Coriolanus's passionate sense of honor, Rabkin has argued, Shakespeare undertakes a critique of political interaction in Coriolanus that is the culmination of many views on human society and history offered throughout his dramas. L. C. Knights has contended that Coriolanus demonstrates that "public crisis is rooted in the personal," and has considered both the hero's and his mother's behavior harmful to the well-being of society. The haughty warrior's view of plebeians as inferior, as little more than objects to control, is, in the critic's opinion, destructive of the mutual respect and cooperation essential to social order.

H. M. Richmond has observed that Coriolanus cannot be held solely responsible for the dire political situation in Rome, viewing this perception as a simplification of the complex drama of...

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This section contains 5,948 words
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Coriolanus from Shakespeare for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.