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Coriolanus Essay | Critical Essay #7

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.
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Critical Essay #7

Very few critical evaluations of Coriolanus have been able to set aside the significance of its complex, paradoxical protagonist. Michael Goldman, in assessing Shakespeare's method of characterization in the play, has summarized the problematic nature of Coriolanus: he possesses a conflicting blend of heroic and ironic qualities that serve the warrior well on the battlefield, but have disastrous effects within society. Gail Kern Paster shares the consensus view that Coriolanus is presented through contrasts with other characters in the play- primarily Volumnia and Aufidius- though she notes that these individuals also have many of the aristocratic qualities he possesses in the extreme.

Elmer Edgar Stoll has judged Coriolanus differently than most Shakespearean tragic heroes. He explained that typically the Shakespearean protagonist is forced by fate, circumstances, or a villain into acts that conflict with his own beliefs and thus lead to catastrophe. According to Stoll, these forces do...

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This section contains 8,135 words
(approx. 28 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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