Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Shakespeare Makes You Sorry...For A Huge Asshole

I went to see Ralph Feinnes' film of Coriolanus a few weeks ago, and it left a deep impression on me.

So deep, in fact, that I've decide to write a few posts about the movie and the play's themes. Because this could easily devolve into the kind of three hundred page treatise beloved of English majors and no one else, I'm breaking it up into parts--this post is about the movie and future ones will deal more with abstract concepts from the play itself. I'm sure all six of you are waiting with bated breath. Shut up.

Being a theater major should make me ashamed to admit this, but I haven't read Shakespeare's entire cannon. Oh, sure, the greatest hits--Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet--plus the sonnets to show I was intellectual. But except for skimming thorough the plays to find monologues that weren't Ophelia, Juliet or Hermoine, I was less then conversant with Shakespeare's later, more "cerebral" works. 

What-evs, wench.  Sell more oranges or I'll have your hide.

So it was with a blend of interest, self-embarrassment, and "wonder why he picked this one?" that I trotted off to the theater. I was especially curious because the tiny crumbs of information I had on Coriolanus implied that it was kind of Julius Caesar Lite--all of the pontificating in togas, none of the stabbery or dead rising from the graves visions related by loyal, thigh-wounding wives.