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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good play with illuminating extras, 7 Dec. 2013
Hatbox Dragon (somewhere on a train) - See all my reviews
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This edition of Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Coriolanus is edited by Lee Bliss. In addition to the play's text, this book contains a textual analysis, an appendix on lineation, a reading list and a lengthy introduction. The introduction covers the play's date and sources, contemporary resonances, an analysis of the play's content and a history of its staging. Originally published in 2000, this 2010 version has been brought up to date with an additional section by Bridget Escolme, which surveys recent analyses and stagings.

The play itself is both interesting and exciting; though unusual sort of hero, Martius/Coriolanus is a sympathetic one, at least to me. The textual notes throughout explain Bliss' editorial choices and facilitate understanding of the action. The introductory material assumes a reasonably substantial knowledge-base (for basic information on Shakespeare, his times and tragedy as a genre, you will need to look elsewhere), and is scholarly in tone, but both Bliss and Escolme write in an approachable, readable style that makes the mass of information in their essays easy to absorb. There are plenty of footnotes for those that wish to follow up particular references, and some pictures that illuminate productions across the centuries. The book itself is very pleasant to handle, being a large format paperback with quality paper and good font and typesetting choices.

I bought this to prepare for seeing Coriolanus next year, and I'm very pleased that I did. Not only am I now familiar with a play I had not previously encountered, this edition has given me a greatly broadened perspective on Shakespeare, plus a sense of the issues the play raises for directors and actors and the possible responses to them. I'll be very interested to see Coriolanus staged and whether it resonates with my own thoughts about the characters, their motivations and their decisions! As someone who yawned their way through Shakespeare in high school and has made no further effort to engage with it until now, I count this a big win.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Coriolanus (The New Cambridge Shakespeare), 15 April 2013
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I love the way the footnotes are presented, and they are extremely helpful to someone who has not read the play before.
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Coriolanus (The New Cambridge Shakespeare)
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