• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Coriolanus, write a critical appreciation of the following passage, (Act 1, Scene 1, 146-210) showing what it contributes to your understanding of Martius (Coriolanus).

Extracts from this document...


Paying close attention to language and tone, write a critical appreciation of the following passage, (Act 1, Scene 1, 146-210) showing what it contributes to your understanding of Martius (Coriolanus). Coriolanus can be thought of as the story of a heroic soldier whose downfall is caused by pride and inflexibility of character. Shakespeare found the story of Coriolanus (Caius Martius) in the writings of the Roman historian, Plutarch. There, he read that Caius Martius ?was so choleric and impatient that he would yield to no living creature, which made him churlish, uncivil, and altogether unfit for any man?s conversation?. In this passage, Shakespeare provides Martius with language to match Plutarch description. Tone in this passage also effectively contributes to the understanding of Martius? (Coriolanus?) character. Martius? first entry, introduces a different kind of patrician among all ? the man hardened by battle to an unyielding rigour, which he maintains in public life. It is clear that Menenius and Martius aredramatic foils. Menenius is wise, has a great wit and is willing to play a part, to talk and flatter his way out of difficult situations. Martius is hot-tempered, full of disdain and has no skills with which to deal with the common masses. ...read more.


This sentiment may represent the illogicality of a rampaging crowd, but no less illogical is Coriolanus? way of answering their grievances and their accusations against the patricians : ?Would the nobility lay aside their ruth, and let me use my sword, I?d make a quarry with thousands of these quarterd?d slaves, as high as I could pick my lance.? Animal imageries in this passage contribute to the understanding of Martius? character. Lines 147-71 are a tirade of scornful abuse against the plebeians which contains many antitheses: peace/war, lions/hares, foxes/geese. These intensify and deepens imaginative effect, creating and giving insight into Martius? feelings and thoughts, thus we are able to gain impression of Martius? character. When Caius Martius erupts into the play at line 146, Immediately the pace and tone of the scene changes from passive to active, his contempt of the plebeians ironically paralleling their earlier criticism of him, as he accuses them of being made ?proud? and describes them as ?curs?. Within his first speeches the audience are given a clear demonstration of his arrogant contempt for the fickle citizens that he regards as the diseased parts of the body that is Rome, his anger at the thought of giving power to those he considers unworthy of it as cowards ...read more.


Martius is an inflexible, arrogant heroic warrior, whose courage and perseverance win every match on the battlefield. He is hot-tempered and is also filled with pride. He disrespects the commoners, feeling they are not as smart as the patricians and are unfit to even be represented in the government. Since they do not share his values, Martius refuses to hide his dislike for them. He is always brutally honest and speaks his mind. He believes the commoners are inconstant and cowardly, and he clearly tells them so. These are effectively portrayed by Shakespeare through language and tone. Martius? language matches Plutarch?s description of Martius. His tones when speaking to the plebeians are of a sneering, dismissive ridicule, menace and ironic tone. Everyone, it seems, has an opinion to express about Caius Martius, and those opinions, appropriately for this play, are conflicting. There is very little soul-searching or questioning through soliloquy in Caius Martius Coriolanus. Our knowledge and understanding of the man, therefore, relies on what is said about him and by him, and through observation of his actions and interaction with others in the play. Nazihatul Afifah Bte Hj Abd Hamid PU2B ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other works section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other works essays

  1. Taking into consideration of the language and structure of the play, how would you ...

    We get the idea of women being these supernatural beings in this scene, and of course prophesizing and religion. The consonance of the 'c' in the beginning of cursing gives it a violent edge, as if Anne is trying to cut through Richard with her words.

  2. The contrast between Hotspur and Hal is the main theme in Henry IV part ...

    In Act I scene iii Hotspur is in the court with the King. Hotspur is refusing to give the King any prisoners unless he pays ransoms for Mortimer who has been captured. The king refuses saying that Mortimer is a traitor "redeem a traitor home, Let him starve on the

  1. Consider How Shakespeare Presents and Develops the Character of Prince Hal and Hotspur In ...

    Fie upon this quiet life, I want work." Whereas we see Prince Hal being ruthless in contrast to the Joker he is known as. In Act 3 we see how Hotspur and Glendower plan to divide up the country and we see Prince Hal apologising to the King for his behaviour.

  2. Richard III, explore the way Shakespeare shapes an audience's response to Richard

    to Anne face to face to create tension -- e.g., on the first line he tells Anne not to pause, yet a semi-colon implies that he himself pauses: this implicates that he has an intention to act with no harm; but in fact he is acting this way to cause great harm.

  1. A comparison (up to the end of Act 3) of the 'courts' of Henry ...

    This shows that a type of 'slang' language would be used amongst the Prince and his fellows, but the King would not allow his Country's speech to be attacked like that. There is one exception where Hal uses the King's type of speech: this is were he talking about how

  2. who in your opinion is the true hero of Henry the fourth part 1

    However because Shakespeare cleverly synthesises comedy into this scene, he disguises and plays down the extent of Hal's crimes. The audience's mind is more greatly influenced by the comedic aspects of Hal's character. And consequently creates a positive bond with Hal.

  1. Write a dramatic monologue in the style of Aaron reflecting on the motivation for ...

    planning ahead and self belief in his words reflect his arrogant, self confident mind frame. ?Sociopath slays there own children?? I have used these exact words to debate on how a character of such pure evil can contrast to the hero of the play.

  2. Does Coriolanus make mistakes or errors in judgement that lead to his downfall? If ...

    It is clear through his thinly veiled contempt for the people he is unsuited as he regards them as 'hares, geese', unworthy animals. Wholly unsuited for a career in politics due to his arrogance, brutal honesty, tactless manner and moreover his inability to conceal his true self and to pretend

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work