Coriolanus: #128 Read/Watch all of Shakespeare


With the reading of all of Shakespeare Mega-ness, I made up a whole system of what order to read and watch everything in, but I decided to include some leeway in case an opportunity presented itself to see something outside my historically-based although somewhat-haphazard viewing order. I bumped up Coriolanus as there is the upcoming film adaptation directed by and starring Ralph Fiennes, although that wasn't the version I watched but rather a 1984 BBC Complete Works of Shakespeare production that I got from the library.

I think I'm willing to give a lot of give with this category, because the stories are so interesting, layered and rich that I know many of them I'll probably see again and again and again. Although I've committed to reading them first I've received a few interesting suggestions including listening to the plays via audio-book, or that the traditional way is to watch first and then read. I wonder if I'll try out those approaches. Only time will tell!

Even though Coriolanus isn't a play I was even aware of before this Mega-task, I can sense the keen pulse of the times to exploring it now as it deals with a man returned from war who is not received well (at least that's my basic interpretation/impression). Watching the BBC version was fascinating, it's very old school and I loved how they captured movement, crowds, and fighting in a theatrical way. I also was floored by the performance of Mike Gwilym as Aufidius, which reminded me that if I primarily watch film/TV then I miss out on a whole wealth of stage actors who are amazing. It's a very male-centric play, although there are some awesome women in it included Coriolanus' mother and the interesting character of Lady Valeria, plus it had great phrases like 'Praise Jupiter'. That was pretty awesome.

I'm looking forward to the Ralph Fiennes version which was at TIFF in 2011, and I keep my eyes open for a regular release date but nothing locked yet so far. I may even read it again before it comes out.


I'm really looking forward to the Ralph Fiennes version. And heck, I think I might have to take up the exclamation, "Praise Jupiter!"

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