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November 9, 2013

If you had asked me what play we would work on first for Shakespeare at Pendleton, I could have expected Othello or The Merchant of Venice or Macbeth. However, today the men of Shakespeare at Pendleton settled upon doing … Coriolanus.

I doubt that most people know much about Coriolanus. It was Shakespeare’s last tragedy, written around 1608. Coriolanus had been a military hero, and for his service, the Romans are grateful. However, Coriolanus has terrible people skills. He treats the Romans with contempt, as if they were unworthy of his service. He is most driven by pride and anger. Eventually, in his intention to be true to himself, Coriolanus betrays Rome to their enemies, the people of Corioles. Those enemies, in turn, kill him. This play has many points of interest, including its portrayal Coriolanus’s family, which he loses when he goes to Rome’s enemies.

We will look at the first scene next week.

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