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Coriolanus Essay | Critical Essay #3

This Study Guide consists of approximately 234 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Coriolanus.
This section contains 8,613 words
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Critical Essay #3

Many critics have examined the destructive potential of Coriolanus's uncompromising belief in personal honor. Charles Mitchell has equated Coriolanus's obsession with honor with his quest for political power. As Coriolanus is a man of action, his ethical perspective derives principally from his belief in the aristocratic virtue of honor even if this belief is detrimental to society as a whole. Mitchell contends that "for Coriolanus public power signifies personal honor" and the Roman "cannot concede the possibility of power's being divided between master (the aristocrat) and servant (the plebeian)." Eugene M. Waith has enumerated Coriolanus's godlike qualities and argued that the hero's acts of courage correspond to those of the classical Greek demi-god Hercules and that Shakespeare's work, therefore, is a "heroic drama" rather than a tragedy." D. J. Gordon has analyzed Shakespeare's critique of honor in Coriolanus, seeing the playas a demonstration of the destructive results that...

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This section contains 8,613 words
(approx. 29 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Coriolanus Study Guide
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Coriolanus from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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