I just found out about a new film of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus, directed by and starring one of my imaginary boyfriends, Ralph Fiennes! (FYI, my co-workers say that I have a passing resemblance to the redhead. A passing resemblance. I think I look more like Katherine Heigl.)
Coriolanus is one of Shakespeare’s clunkier plays, but–like Titus Andronicus and his other less-famous works–it contains moments of exceptional brilliance and psychological insight.
Nobody can turn a phrase like Shakespeare. Nobody.
(I always become irritated when I hear someone say that The Merchant of Venice is an anti-Semitic play. It’s a play (partially) about Antisemitism. Any thoughtful person who’s read the Shakespeare cannon knows that this guy was not a narrow-minded bigot. This man gave us Othello. He was a feminist. A Humanist! Was there a contemporaneous writer more sympathetic to the oppressed? More understanding of the human condition? Hell–is there an author more sympathetic today?)
The way that he captures human relationships–especially between parents and their children, specifically fathers and daughters–is unparalleled in sensitivity.
I read Coriolanus as an undergrad (it was superior to A Midsummer Night’s Dream–how did that mediocre play get so popular? Every Shakespeare festival has it, and I have to traverse the globe to see Measure for Measure.). Clunky, but you can geek out on the politics if you get into it.