Coriolanus is the last and most intriguing of Shakespeare's Roman tragedies. Critics, directors and actors have long been bewitched by this gripping character study of a warrior that Rome can neither tolerate nor do without. Caius Martius Coriolanus is a terrifying war machine in battle, a devoted son to a wise and ambitious mother at home, and an inflammatory scorner of the rights and rites of the common people. This Critical Reader opens up the extraordinary range of interpretation the play has elicited over the centuries and offers exciting new directions for scholarship. The volume commences with a Timeline of key events relating to Coriolanus in print and performance and an Introduction by the volume editor. Chapters survey the scholarly reaction to the play over four centuries, the history of Coriolanus on stage and the current research and thinking about the play. The second half of the volume comprises four 'New Directions' essays exploring: the rhetoric and performance of the self, the play's relevance to our contemporary world, an Hegelian approach to the tragedy, and the insights of computer-assisted stylometry. A final chapter critically surveys resources for teaching the play.
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