Monday, November 3, 2014

Coriolanus - Summary


Revive for a moment a broken Coriolanus. -T.S. Eliot-

It’s still too soon to draw any firm conclusions but once again I’ve found that one of Shakespeare’s tragedies works better for me than his comedies. Coriolanus didn’t do it quite as well for me as Antony and Cleopatra but it was more of a grabber than the two comedies I’ve read so far. As the story goes, these two plays were also among T.S. Eliot’s favorites (better than Hamlet, saith he, about Coriolanus) and he even wrote a poem that paid tribute to Coriolanus.

Coriolanus is many things, and especially a great warrior, but he seems to not have the knack of being a ruler – which ultimately leads to his undoing. It’s a story that’s fairly unornamented and to the point and, as I mentioned elsewhere, even though the hero triumphs at various points throughout there is a foreshadowing of how it’s going to turn out. Or maybe I just guessed right.

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