Rome is a city divided, nobility and common-people locked in mutual suspicion. The patrician Caius Marcius, later called Coriolanus, is Rome's greatest soldier, but his proud refusal to accommodate himself to the demands of the plebeians leads to banishment and death.
A Roman history as well as tragedy, Coriolanus is a complex and subtle exploration of the themes of absolution and compromise, both in the political world and in the life of the individual.
Paul Jesson plays Coriolanus, and Marjorie Yates is Volumnia. Ewan Hooper plays Menenius.
Public Domain (P)2014 Blackstone Audio
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"A Story That Keeps Repeating"
First, my thanks to Ted (whom I follow) for alerting me to this series. It is truly a great find. It has set me on a course to explore the lesser known Shakespeare's.
Secondly, a quick note about what you might want to have handy if you want to do the same thing. Unlike a novel, it is not easy to follow the many voices unless you have the script handy. I struggled with this until I got the Letterpress Folio edition out. So, bonus, I get to hear a play I don't know so well and the sublime pleasure of following it in one of the best reproductions in print. If you don't have a Letterpress handy, any old version will suffice so you can follow who says what.
Thirdly, I found the production values to be a bit dated, but that was more than made up for by the full cast reproduction.
Finally, I thought the play itself a very interesting and topical one. It has so many ramifications for the present day lust for power, the spiral of power and corruption and the modern parable that "power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely" (Acton). One can see how easily it might be adapted to more contemporary times. I have got the Raphe Fiennes movie on order now so that I test the theory.
I am looking forward to the next wet, winter day encounter with a lesser known William
The voice of Coriolanus is full of emotion. he sounds snotty when appropriate and furious when mad. The rest of the cast also performs wonderfully.
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