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William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

Summary of the plot or story
The last of Shakespeare's great political tragedies, chronicling the life of the mighty warrior Caius Marcius Coriolanus. It covers many issues including pride of coming before a fall. The ambitious mother of of the hero plays a large part in his initial successes. Coriolanus supports the old patrician ways and is totally out of tune with the needs of the ordinary people.

Aufidius, jealous of Coriolanus's popularity with the Volscians, denounces him as a traitor, and the Volscians then kill the Roman. He then regrets his action and praises Coriolanus a real hero. 

Information provided about the play
William Shakespeare never published any of his plays and therefore none of the original manuscripts have survived. Eighteen unauthorised versions of his plays were, however, published during his lifetime in quarto editions by unscrupulous publishers (there were no copyright laws protecting Shakespeare and his works during the Elizabethan era). A collection of his works did not appear until 1623 ( a full seven years after Shakespeare's death on April 23, 1616) when two of his fellow actors, John Hemminges and Henry Condell, posthumously recorded his work and published 36 of Williamís plays in the First Folio. Some dates are therefore approximate other dates are substantiated by historical events, records of performances and the dates plays appeared in print.

Date first performed
It is believed that the play was first performed between 1607 and 1608. In the Elizabethan era 
there was a huge demand for new entertainment and Coriolanus would have been produced immediately following the completion of the play.

Date first printed
It is believed that it was first printed in 1623 in the First Folio. As William Shakespeare clearly did not want his work published details of the play would have therefore been noted, and often pirated without his consent, following a performance.

The settings
The settings are Rome, Corioli and Antium

Theme of Coriolanus
The play is categorised as a Tragedy

Number of words
The number of words in the script, according to the Complete Public Domain Text is 29,375.

Most important characters
The most important characters are:
Coriolanus and Aufidius

Famous Quotes / Quotations
he quotes from Coriolanus are amongst Shakespeare's most famous including 'Nature teaches beasts to know their friends'. Details of this famous quote follow, complete with information regarding the Act and the Scene, allowing a quick reference to the section of the play that these quotations can be found in. Please click here for the full text of the script of Coriolanus.

"Nature teaches beasts to know their friends". (Act II, Scene I). 

The story was based on the life of Caius Marcius Coriolanus.

William Shakespeare's Main Source
Life of Caius Martius Coriolanus, by Plutarch

The Cast and Characters
Click the link to access a list of all the cast and characters.

Full text - script of the play Coriolanus by William Shakespeare
Cast and characters in the play by William Shakespeare
Index of plays by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare Site Map
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