Tag Archives: Elizabethan tragedy

“No full-length Shakespearian tragedy reaches the intensity of these three acts; they move with a whirling, sickening, speed.”

The Winter’s Tale Act Three, Part Two By Dennis Abrams  ———————- First off, some highlights from Mark Van Doren, without the most often used quotes from the play: “’The Winter’s Tale’ tells of grievous divisions between friend and friend (Leontes … Continue reading

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“Exit, pursued by a bear.”

The Winter’s Tale Act Three, Part One By Dennis Abrams —————————- Act Three:  Leontes formally accuses Hermione of adultery and plotting to kill him, but she remains firm in her innocence and declares that Apollo will be her judge.  But … Continue reading

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“For mine’s beyond beyond…”

Cymbeline Act Three, Part One By Dennis Abrams ——————————– Act Three:  In Britain, Cymbeline has refused to pay the annual tribute to Rome, to which the Roman ambassador Lucius responds by declaring war. Meanwhile, Pisanio has received a letter from … Continue reading

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“Coriolanus did not love the people. But this does not mean that Coriolanus should be condemned. In that sentence there is in a nutshell the bitter drama of Renaissance humanism; of any humanism, in fact.”

Coriolanus Act Five, Part Two By Dennis Abrams ———————————- From Jan Kott: “But Shakespeare’s world is crowded, and there are no empty spaces in it. There are just patricians, plebeians, and enemies of Rome. Coriolanus can only choose his place … Continue reading

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He holds her by the hand, silent.

Coriolanus Act Five, Part One By Dennis Abrams ———————————————————– Act Five:  Meanwhile, Rome is desperate to win back its savior, so first Cominius, then Menenius, are sent out to persuade Coriolanus to return. Both fail, but Virgilia, Volumnia, Valeria and … Continue reading

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“…dramatically I just love his uncompromising attitude, his imagery of ‘Bring in/The crows to peck the eagles.’”

Coriolanus Act Four, Part Two By Dennis Abrams —————————————————————————- For your Thanksgiving week enjoyment, an interview with Ralph Fiennes from the book Shakespeare on Stage, talking about his 2007 stage performance.  I find it fascinating to get an actor’s take … Continue reading

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“…we have learned by now to ask Marxian questions about deep causes – not, this time, ‘Who creates the wealth?’ but ‘Who creates death?’ the answer is, the mother.”

Coriolanus Act Three, Part Two By Dennis Abrams —————————- Let’s talk briefly about homoeroticism in Coriolanus. It seems clear, I think that the inquires about each other by Martius and Aufidius and their speculative exchange of places certainly reveals, at … Continue reading

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“I banish you…There is a world elsewhere.”

Coriolanus Act Three, Part One By Dennis Abrams —————————————————– Act Three:  Coriolanus is about to be invested when the tribunes gleefully and triumphantly inform him that his popularity has evaporated. Furious, he declares that the people don’t deserve him, at … Continue reading

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“Indeed, this is probably the most difficult play in the canon, and it prompts one to think again about the problems it must always have set audiences and readers.”

Coriolanus Act One, Part Two By Dennis Abrams ————————————————————— From Garber: “Coriolanus’s powerful mother, Volumnia, clearly dominates her dutiful son, who is free and independent on the battlefield but subservient to Volumnia in all private and political concerns. In the … Continue reading

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“If the wars eat us not up, they will; and there’s all the love they bear us.”

Coriolanus Act One, Part One By Dennis Abrams ————————————— MAJOR CHARACTERS Caius Martius, later known as Coriolanus, a Roman patrician Menenius Agrippa, another patrician Titus Lartius and Cominius, generals and patricians Volumnia, Coriolanus’ mother Virgilia, Coriolanus’ wife Young Martius, Coriolanus’ … Continue reading

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