Every week, join award-winning narrator B.J. Harrison as he narrates the greatest stories the world has ever known. From the jungles of South America to the Mississippi Delta, from Victorian England to the sands of the Arabian desert, join us on a fantastic journey through the words of the world's greatest authors. Critically-acclaimed and highly recommended for anyone who loves a good story with plenty of substance.
April 18th, 2014
Episode 8 of 181 episodes
Coriolanus returns triumphant from the war. Many anticipate that he will be consul, but the tribunes of the people have other plans. William Shakespeare, today on The Classic Tales Podcast. I’ve been trying to figure out lately, what it is about the play of Coriolanus that speaks so particularly to me. I’ve run into it again and again – this Shakespearean play in particular. Well, there are a lot of things going on here. But I think what strikes me most is the concept of someone who has dedicated his life to an ideal, and then when he is expecting a great reward, he not only doesn’t get the anticipated reward, but also is banished from his home. The play can end here – there’s tragedy enough. He is fanatically raised to be a soldier and fight. He knows nothing else. His reward is banishment. And though he is bigoted, and very proud, and not a particularly affectionate father or husband, the fact that his world is taken from him demands our sympathy. We cannot help it. And worse: he cannot help himself. From the time he learned war from his mother’s knee, whatever softer passions he had were taken from him and replaced with knives and steel.