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Coriolanus on stage in England and America, 1609-1994

Author: John Ripley
Publisher: Madison [N.J.] : Fairleigh Dickinson University Press ; London : Associated University Presses, ©1998.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"Coriolanus is not a comfortable play. One of the most problematic, yet intensely theatrical, of Shakespeare's dramas, its ambivalent politics, linear plot, repellent characters, unmusical poetry, and downbeat finale have taxed artistic ingenuity throughout its recorded history. Through analysis of the verbal "score," including cuts, additions, alterations, actors' interpretations, and scenographic design, John  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Ripley, John, 1936-
Coriolanus on stage in England and America, 1609-1994.
Madison [N.J.] : Fairleigh Dickinson University Press ; London : Associated University Presses, ©1998
(OCoLC)605416858
Named Person: William Shakespeare; William Shakespeare; William Shakespeare; Cnaeus Marcius Coriolanus; William Shakespeare
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: John Ripley
ISBN: 0838637418 9780838637418
OCLC Number: 37493407
Description: 431 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Responsibility: John Ripley.

Abstract:

"Coriolanus is not a comfortable play. One of the most problematic, yet intensely theatrical, of Shakespeare's dramas, its ambivalent politics, linear plot, repellent characters, unmusical poetry, and downbeat finale have taxed artistic ingenuity throughout its recorded history. Through analysis of the verbal "score," including cuts, additions, alterations, actors' interpretations, and scenographic design, John Ripley fascinatingly reconstructs the play's perennial accommodation to political and social ideologies, aesthetic fashion, actors' and directors' fancies, and changing playhouse practice. Drawing upon promptbooks and other theater documents, engravings and photographs, reviews, interviews, letters, diaries, and memoirs, he creates a richly layered account of a play persistently denied its character and rarely staged without explicit or implicit apology." "From the late-seventeenth to the mid-eighteenth centuries, Coriolanus was revised to advance Tory and Whig agendas - and was even rewritten completely. In the decades preceding the French Revolution, Thomas Sheridan and John Philip Kemble evolved a production style which aestheticized the play's politics, privileged spectacle, and iconized its characters. This strategy shaped British and American productions for more than a century, apart from one bold but ineffective challenge by Edmund Kean in 1820." "Laurence Olivier's groundbreaking performance at the Old Vic shortly before World War II launched two decades of romantic revivals in which politics was contained by cinematic scenography and sex appeal. The obsessive narcissism and social activism of the sixties, the ideological disillusion of the seventies and eighties, and the postmodern materialism and cynicism of the nineties all have informed more recent productions."--Jacket.

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