REVIEW: Coriolanus – William Shakespeare

Before I begin this review I should point out I am a longtime fan of the Bard, but I know that there are a lot of people who don’t get on with Shakespeare. I perfectly understand why; I had read 4/5 of his plays before I began to like them, and it was only really when I approached them for what they really are: plays to be performed, rather than books to be read, that I enjoyed them.

I know they’re not everyone’s cup of tea, but if your only encounter with the Bard has been through studying them in a stuffy classroom at school, or, god forbid, one of those terrible school touring productions, then I strongly suggest watching one of the many DVD adaptations, preferably one that is a stage recording, for example the Shakespeare’s Globe DVDs or the RSCs recent production of King Lear, although the BBCs Hollow Crown series was fantastic.

Back to Coriolanus

Coriolanus follows the story of a proud Roman warrior, named Caias Martius (later known as Coriolanus), who despite being a great warrior, has very little time for the Pleibians (common folk), something that irks the people greatly, and their strained relationship causes a series of events to unfurl as the play progresses.

I won’t say this is my favourite of Shakespeare’s plays; the plot is rather thin, albeit does improve in the latter stages, and it can be a bit monotonous at times. And it’s not got much, if any, of the quick-wit that permeates some of his better works. But having said that, it’s enjoyable enough, and moves along at quite a pace, which definitely works in its favour (although, Volumnia, Coriolanus’ mother, has a couple of crazily long monologues during Act 5, which are so long it’s difficult not to nod off…

I did enjoy reading it, and it’s the kind of play that will work far better in performance than text, but I doubt very much that it will be one of the Bard’s works I revisit in the future.

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One thought on “REVIEW: Coriolanus – William Shakespeare

  1. Pingback: My Bookshelf | somethinglikelydia

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