Music Information & Play Synopsis -   ' Coriolanus' - William Shakespeare (Donmar Warehouse )


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The music used in Part One  is  from the Planet Suite by  Gustav Holst composed during 1914-1916  . 'Mars' - The Bringer  of War'

 The Suite  is written after each planet and it's astrological character rather than the Roman Deities of the same name,  but the style of the piece is  very militaristic and I felt this really suited the Roman Tragedy of Coriolanus.

The Tragedy of Coriolanus by William Shakespeare.

Believed to have been written 1605-1608 it is based on the legendary Roman leader - Caius Marcius Coriolanus.

It begins with rioting over grain shortages blamed on Caius who is a brilliant warrior but contemptuous of the common people and seen as their enemy.
Tribunes are appointed for the people and Caius leaves Rome when he hears his old adversary ,Tullus Aufidius is leading the Volsces against the city.  Caius leads the siege against Corioles which initially unsuccessful is eventually taken almost by a lone Caius.  After facing Aufidius in single  combat - this is interrupted by Aufidius's troops dragging him away to safety.  Cominius the Roman General awards Caius the title of 'Coriolanus' for his courage and they return triumphant to Rome.

Coriolanus is encouraged by his mother to run for Consul - although he is loathe to do so as he is a soldier not a politician - he agrees and seems to win over the people's votes after the Senate easily approve his appointment The tribunes turn the people against him and as Coriolanus rages they engineer his banishment from Rome. 

In exile Coriolanus seeks out his old adversary Aufidius and offers his life. Aufidius and he join forces and turn their attention to Rome in vengeance.   Efforts are made  by Rome and appeals for mercy from Coriolanus's friends & former General to no avail.  Finally a plea from his Mother, Wife and son convince Coriolanus to conclude a peace treaty instead of sacking Rome.  Aufidius sees this as betrayal and Coriolanus is slain.





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