The Theater: Old Play in Manhattan, Feb. 1, 1954

Coriolanus is perhaps Shakespeare's least popular major play—which is not unfitting, since its Roman hero himself spurned popularity. It is perhaps Shakespeare's least poetic major play as well; for Coriolanus, unlike Hamlet or Macbeth, lacks imagination and tragic awareness. But a major play it decidedly is, with a Roman clang and massiveness to its story of a proud patrician hero who is denied the consulate and then banished from the city for not truckling to the plebs, and who joins his former enemies in an expedition against Rome.

Whether or not, through Coriolanus, Shakespeare...

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