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Coriolanus Audio, Cassette – Unabridged, Audiobook

ISBN-13: 978-1559940511 ISBN-10: 1559940514

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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Caedmon (November 12, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1559940514
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559940511
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 4.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,104,554 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Penguin chose to revamp its venerable Pelican Shakespeare line in 1999. The updated series includes more accurate texts and new introductions by the current crop of leading Shakespearean scholars. The good stuff just gets better with age. (Classic Returns, LJ 10/15/99)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Review

`'Stanley Wells' OUP Complete Works of Shakespeare is now eight years old and has spawned a new Oxford Shakespeare which appears now in splendidly affordable volumes in that nonpareil of libraries of good reading The World's Classics.' The Oxford Times' English Studies Offprint from vol.77 Number 1, January 1996 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Pletko on May 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
+++++

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.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bill Slocum VINE VOICE on January 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
Any Shakespeare play that leaves people with totally different interpretations regarding the nature of the lead character can't be all bad. That said, "Coriolanus" suffers from its ambiguity.

The first time I read it was in college. My kindly professor laid out the case for seeing Coriolanus as a kind of fascist strongman brought down by his contempt for the people, and I went away comforted in my small-L liberalism. This time, however, reading it on my own, it was hard not to see Coriolanus as something else entirely, a deserving elitist brought down by an envious, parasitic mobocracy who couldn't bear to see him succeed. In short, John Galt in a toga.

A more disturbing realization with this second reading was that as a play, "Coriolanus" doesn't hold together. It's considered likely to be Shakespeare's last tragedy, written in 1608-09, but lacks for the vitality or singular inspiration you expect from the seasoned tragedian of "MacBeth" or "King Lear."

It has a fantastic first act as I read it, brimming with great dialogue, highly charged scenes, and a well-extended battle sequence. Act I also sets up the core issue of the rest of the play. "He that trusts to you,/Where he should find you lions, finds you hares/Where foxes, geese," is how the bold patrician Marcius puts it to the rabble rousers at the play's start. "He that depends/Upon your favors swims on fins of lead/And hews down oaks with rushes."

Marcius will later be renamed Coriolanus, after conquering the city Corioles. Rome proves more of a problem, where he's rejected by an easily-led and ungrateful mob. They have a point about Marcius' coldness when it comes to their need for corn, but he's not a dangerous character.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By psychephile on June 4, 1998
Format: Paperback
Shakespeare's last and greatest tragedy, *Coriolanus* dramatizes the conflict between pride and envy--those two antagonists which were the favorite characters of ancient myth.
Coriolanus is a man of Virtue, when virtue meant 'manliness' not 'modest chastity.' Above all, he had the virtue of pursuing virtue, which he refused to compromise and which he refused to hide. In contrast, the aristocracy and the mob whom they serve despised Coriolanus precisely because he was good and refused to be otherwise.
*Coriolanus* is Shakespeare at the height of his powers, and the real tragedy is that this work is not better known.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 23, 1998
Format: Audio Cassette
"Thy valientness is mine. Thou suckest it from me." That would be Volumnia's (Coriolanus' mother) quote -- and one of my favorites. "Coriolanus" is an intriguing story and the characters are marvelous. I have yet to see a better portrayal of a suffocating mother. Volumnia will live in my heart forever.
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25 of 34 people found the following review helpful By "kenamat" on January 13, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is Shakespeare's greatest tragedy in my opinion. Everybody talks about Macbeth, Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, and Romeo and Juliet, but Coriolanus for some reason is mostly, and unjustly, ignored. I feel that Coriolanus is the only pure tragedy among Shakespeare's works. Macbeth was a sociopath who brought all his troubles on himself; Hamlet was a confused young man who couldn't make a decision and who waited too long to get the job done; King Lear was an old fool who played games with his daughters and brought most of his problems on himself; Othello could have avoided his problems if he simply sat down and had a real conversation with his wife; and Romeo and Juliet were just a couple of immature kids who simply needed a few hard kicks in their butts. Coriolanus is different. Coriolanus was simply an honest, hard-working soldier who got the job done and told the truth, but was brought down by the guile of his enemies. That, in my opinion, is the greatest tragedy of them all.
It seems that people either love or hate this play. Many consider Coriolanus to be a very unlikable character because he is supposedly arrogant, but I disagree. Coriolanus just worked hard, told the truth, was a straight shooter, and refused to play silly games by telling people what they wanted to hear. I guess I see something different in this play than most critics and readers of Shakespeare.
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