Item description for Coriolanus (Arden Shakespeare: Second Series) by William Shakespeare...
Philip Brockbank was Director of the Shakespeare Institute at the University of Birmingham in England from 1979-1988, and General Editor of the New Cambridge Shakespeare from 1984-1990. He wrote On Shakespeare: Jesus, Shakespeare and Karl Marx, and Other Essays and edited Players of Shakespeare 1: Essays in Shakespearean Performance. His other publications include The Creativity of Perception: Essays in the Genesis of Literature and Art and Urban Mysteries of the Renaissance: Shakespeare and Carpaccio.
The Arden Shakespeare edition of Coriolanus includes a detailed introduction to the text of the play, including the original printing, language and grammar, lineation, act and scene structure, stage-directions, and anomalies of the text, some of which are thought to indicate editorial intervention in the printing process. Further analysis of the play's content covers the accepted date of composition and historical context for that time, sources, a discussion of tragedy, language, and a description of the play as it was produced on Shakespeare's stage and has been produced in the theater in its afterlife. Two appendices follow The Tragedy of Coriolanus: "The Life of Caius Martius Coriolanus" from Plutarch's Lives, and an extract from Camden's Remaines.
The Arden Shakespeare has developed a reputation as the pre-eminent critical edition of Shakespeare for its exceptional scholarship, reflected in the thoroughness of each volume. An introduction comprehensively contextualizes the play, chronicling the history and culture that surrounded and influenced Shakespeare at the time of its writing and performance, and closely surveying critical approaches to the work. Detailed appendices address problems like dating and casting, and analyze the differing Quarto and Folio sources. A full commentary by one or more of the play's foremost contemporary scholars illuminates the text, glossing unfamiliar terms and drawing from an abundance of research and expertise to explain allusions and significant background information. Highly informative and accessible, Arden offers the fullest experience of Shakespeare available to a reader.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 5" Height: 7.75" Weight: 0.75 lbs.
Release Date Mar 11, 1976
ISBN 1903436648 ISBN13 9781903436646
Availability 0 units.
More About William Shakespeare
BRUCE R. SMITH lectures in English at Georgetown University.
William Shakespeare lived in Stratford-Upon-The Avon. William Shakespeare was born in 1564 and died in 1616.
William Shakespeare has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Coriolanus (Arden Shakespeare: Second Series)?
Decent Play Aug 28, 2008
This is a pretty decent political tragedy. The book has a great inroduction that helped lay out the themes of the play. While this was a good work, it wasn't my favorite by Shakespeare.
Shakespeare's Last Tragedy: An Overlooked Gem!!! May 24, 2006
This play, written circa 1608, is the last of William Shakespeare's (1564 to 1616) eleven (some say ten) known tragedies. Even though it is known as a "Roman" or "political" play, serious readers will discover that it so much more. I found that it stayed with me long after I read it.
This play is set in ancient Rome. It is essentially the story of warrior Caius Marcius (later known as "Coriolanus") whose honor, pride, and sense of social rank dominates his life and interferes with his ability to function effectively when he's not on the battlefield.
One of the great attributes of this play is that it does not have many characters and thus is easy to follow. The major characters are as follows:
(1) Coriolanus (originally Caius Marcius): a valiant warrior and patrician (nobleman) with a non-overbearing wife. "A soldier to Cato's wish" and a modest hero who "hath deserved worthily of his country" but who lacks tact and refuses to placate "the mutable, rank-scented many." (2) Volumnia: his overbearing mother. "In anger, Juno-like." (3) Menenius Agrippa: "a humorous patrician" and an old and true friend of Coriolanus who is trusted by the plebeians (lower class) (4) Titus Lartius and Cominius: fellow generals with Coriolanus. (5) Sicinius and Brutus: tribunes (representatives of the plebeians) of the common people and Coriolanus' political enemies. "A pair of strange ones." (6) Tullus Aufidius: general of Rome's enemies and rival in glory to Coriolanus.
This "Shakespeare PELican" book (published by Penguin in 1999) has some interesting material before the play proper. I found the introduction to the play especially informative.
I would recommend, in order to get the full impact of this play, to either see it on film (the BBC production is excellent) or to see it on the stage.
Finally, I cannot understand why this play has been overlooked as one of Shakespeare's great works. (It was, in fact, written during Shakespeare's greatest period, 1599 to 1608.) The story itself is interesting with many subtle themes. The only thing I can think of is that there are some terms that you must know to properly understand the play (such as patrician, plebeian, tribune, etc.). These terms can be easily looked up in a good dictionary.
In conclusion, this play, in my opinion, is an overlooked gem. This book published by Penguin is an excellent resource for students, teachers, theatre professionals, and anyone interested in discovering this great play!!
rugged shakespeare Aug 21, 2005
I had an overpriced Arden Shakespeare copy of the play. The spine broke. I have known Oxford was as good for lower price and prefer the notes. The Arden text is more authoritative but the physical (Oxford) book is better.
Fine Edition of Interesting Play Mar 30, 2003
This inexpensive volume is a fine edition with very readable text, good notes, and a nice introduction. Coriolanus is not one of Shakespeare's most popular plays, though it has its partisans. As with several of Shakespeare's best plays, it is an attempt to combine an investigation of the nature of power with a psychological portrait. The nature of power or kingship was one of Shakespeare's great themes, featured in some of the great tragedies like MacBeth or Lear, and this theme runs through many of his history plays. In Coriolanus, however, this theme is handled less well. It is interesting to speculate why Shakespeare, who dealt with this theme so well in many plays, doesn't do such a good job in Coriolanus. The action in Coriolanus is set in a republic, not a monarchy. The structure of republican politics is not one Shakespeare would have known well and the problems of politics and authority in a republican are different than those of a monarchy. Particularly for modern audiences, whose intrinsic understanding of republican politics is much greater than Shakespeare's, the clumsy handling of the tension between the aristocratic Coriolanus and the plebes rings false. In addition, the psychological portrait of Coriolanus is not nearly as rich as Shakespeare's analysis of quite a few of his other protagonists. Much of the language in Coriolanus is powerful but it lacks the dramatic movement and insight of his best work.
a late tragedy--by no means a great one May 22, 2002
Coriolanus seems to have the critical imprimatur as one of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies. Yet, this must be a misprint. Latest? Certainly. Greatest? Hardly.
For one thing, anyone with any familiarity with Shakespeare's plays must immediately note the protagonist's lack of humanity. Coriolanus' heartlessness is his chief characteristic. All the things that make him so compelling on the battlefield only serve to dull his appeal as a civilian. Since Coriolanus spends the majority of the play as a civilian, this is bad news for the audience.
There may well be tragic events in Coriolanus. However, Coriolanus falls short of great Shakespearean tragedy. The lead is not exceptional (as are the rest of Shakespeare's tragic heroes). At best, Coriolanus is a dolt who becomes a savant on the battlefield. Shakespeare telegraphs, rather than foreshadows, the tragic events of Coriolanus. This, compounded with Coriolanus' inability to carry the play, makes for a rather frenzied mush of a drama.
I recommend Coriolanus only to the Shakespearean completist. It is not one of his better works.