A feared and revered military commander courts tragedy when he enters the political arena in Coriolanus, a driving action/drama that marks the directorial debut of the film's star, two-time Academy Award®-nominee Ralph Fiennes. Working from an adapted screenplay by award-winning writer John Logan, Fiennes takes a bracingly modern and naturalistic approach to Shakespeare, delivering a story that speaks strongly to our own polarized, volatile times. Updating William Shakespeare's late-period tragedy of ancient Roman setting to the 21st-century of guerrilla insurgencies, instant polling, and 24-hour news networks, Fiennes delivers a trenchant tale of honor, power, politics, and pride. Joining Fiennes onscreen is an exciting, impressive, and international cast that includes Gerard Butler, Brian Cox, Oscar® winner Vanessa Redgrave, Jessica Chastain, John Kani, James Nesbitt, Paul Jesson, Lubna Azabal, and Ashraf Barhom.
About the Author
John Logan's work as a screenwriter includes Hugo, Coriolanus, Rango, Sweeney Todd, The Aviator, Gladiator, The Last Samurai, Any Given Sunday, and RKO 281. He received the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critic Circle, and Drama League awards for his play Red, and is the author of more than a dozen plays.
Read an Excerpt
ACT I. Scene I. [Rome. A street.]
Enter a company of mutinous Citizens, with staves, clubs, and other weapons.
1. Citizen Before we proceed any further, hear me speak.
All. Speak, speak!
1. Citizen You are all resolv’d rather to die than to famish?
All. Resolv’d, resolv’d!
1. Citizen First, you know Caius Martius is chief enemy to the people. 5
All. We know’t, we know’t!
1. Citizen Let us kill him, and we’ll have corn at our own price. Is’t a verdict?
All. No more talking on’t! Let it be done! Away, away!
2. Citizen One word, good citizens. 9
1. Citizen We are accounted poor citizens, the patricians good. What authority surfeits on would relieve us. If they would yield us but the superfluity while it were wholesome, we might guess they relieved us humanely; but they think we are too dear. The leanness that afflicts us, the object of our misery, is as an inventory to particularize their abundance; our sufferance is a gain to them. Let us revenge this with our pikes ere we become rakes; for the gods know I speak this in hunger for bread, not in thirst for revenge.
2. Citizen Would you proceed especially against Caius Martius? 15
1. Citizen Against him first. He’s a very dog to the commonalty.
2. Citizen Consider you what services he has done for his country?
1. Citizen Very well, and could be content to give him good report for’t but that he pays himself with being proud.
2. Citizen Nay, but speak not maliciously. 20
1. Citizen I say unto you, what he hath done famously, he did it to that end. Though soft-conscienc’d men can be content to say it was for his country, he did it to please his mother and to be partly proud, which he is, even to the altitude of his virtue.
2. Citizen What he cannot help in his nature, you account a vice in him. You must in no way say he is covetous.
1. Citizen If I must not, I need not be barren of accusations. He hath faults (with surplus) to tire in repetition. 25
What shouts are these? The other side o’ th’ city is risen. Why stay we prating here? To th’ Capitol!
All. Come, come!
1. Citizen Soft! who comes here?
Table of Contents
Introduction to the Kittredge Edition
Introduction to the Focus Edition
How to Read Coriolanus as Performance
Topics for Discussion and Further Study
What People are Saying About This
“FIVE STARS. Ralph Fiennes has done something truly mighty with his first turn behind the camera. A pounding, modern take on Shakespeare’s most chestthumpingly bellicose tragedy…by ace adapter John Logan. Ralph Fiennes rages into battle like an ambulatory Marlon Brando from Apocalypse Now.”