Coriolanus Essay

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Source: "Coriolanus: The Anxious Bridegroom," originally published in American Imago Vol. 25, 1968. Reprinted in 'Coriolanus': Critical Essays, edited by David Wheeler, Garland Publishing, Inc., 1995, pp. 93-110.

[In the following essay (originally published in 1968), Wilson offers a psychoanalytic approach to Coriolanus, evaluating language and imagery that suggests Freudian conflicts within the play. The critic begins by analyzing the unique bodily imagery of Coriolanus, through which sexuality am war are thematically linked. Wilson also notes the psychological resonance of aggression in the play's family relationships. Oedipal, or incestuous, motif appear as do Coriolanus's anxieties conc erning his symbolic castration by his domineering and mascu line-- or "phallic" - mother, Volumnia. Wilson further explores Coriolanus's hostility toward his mother and his rebellion against her. This revolt, in turn, is characterized by the homoerotic overtones of Coriolanus's relationship with Aufidius- who also becomes a surrogate for Coriolanus's absent father- as the too men...

(read more from the Critical Essay #6 section)

This section contains 5,741 words
(approx. 15 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.