Coriolanus is perhaps the most brillant political play ever written. Though it is set in Ancient Rome, it has proved itself over the centuries as a perennially relevant study of the relationship between personality and politics. The Introduction to this new edition considers Shakespeare's adaptation of his historical material in relation to the social and political conditions in London and Stratford at the time of the play's composition, also offering new evidence
that it was written in 1608. The play's searching presentation of the tension between politics and psychology is shown to result from major reinterpretations of Plutarch's structure and characterization. The editor offers a thorough and subtle analysis of the verbal style of the text and of its
staging in relation to the Blackfriars theatre, where it was probably the first of Shakespeare's plays to be presented and for which it may have been written. A detailed study of its theatrical history illuminates the wide range of meanings the play has had for subsequent ages. The thorough commentary pays special attention to the needs of the actors and directors.
`an admirable achievement, and its wide range of reference makes it a useful work of reference for the history of Coriolanus in the study and on the stage'
Philip Edwards, University of Liverpoool, Review of English Studies, Vol. XLVIII, No. 189 Feb '97
`it is odd that recent upmarket, single-play editions have been so rare ... The Oxford Shakespeare text edited by Brian Parker thus comes not a minute too soon. In addition to the best in contemporary editorial practice and contemporary scholarship, it offers as stage-sensitive an approach to a Shakespeare play as any edition to date. This edition, scholarly without being pedantic, timely rather than trendy, and as frankly theatrical as it is literary, will
be consulted with pleasure and profit by university students, specialists in the early modern period, theater artists, and the general reader.'
Linda Woodbridge, Shakespeare Quarterly