By Bruce King (auth.)
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Extra info for Coriolanus
Private emotions, false modesty, sulky pride, narcissism, public-school self-belittlement, took priority over the fascistcommunist interpretations of the 1930s. Many recent interpretations are psychological rather than ideological. For a time, as in thejohn Neville-Tyrone Guthrie production of 1983, emphasis shifted towards homosexual feelings between Coriolanus and Aufidius. To view the play as private is radically different from most literary interpretations; literary critics see the play as public, mostly about politics.
Theatre approaches: performance In contrast to literary approaches there are interpretations of drama from the perspective of production, staging, acting, and so on. These include study of the theatrical mode or style of the period - a method I will discuss in Part Two - analysis of Shakespeare's staging, studies of actual performances and adaptations. According to Berry ( 1981) performances of Coriolanus usually stress either the political aspect or character. In the late eighteenth-early nineteenth century John Philip Kemble THEATRE APPROACHES: PERFORMANCE 51 strengthened Aufidius' jealousy of Coriolanus, and played the part of Coriolanus as 'a study in marble pride'.
The tribunes use it six times; the citizens never. Identification with the notion of Rome is therefore patrician, although the idea of the city is claimed for the citizens. Rome is a patrician standard of conduct, an idea of how to behave, a concept of greatness which, as is shown by the plebs in battle, the poor do not share. Since the idea of Rome, of contributing to its greatness, works against including the plebs, they become outsiders, the opposing, despised Other. Coriolanus, who believes the ideology of his class, wants to rid Rome ofthe citizens as if'they were barbarians'.