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Shakespeare's Adjustments to the Real Life

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Plutarch's biography of Coriolanus explains the mans life and his success through combat and will. Plutarch almost praises the man, stating that he was a man that was never corrupted and never unmoral. The biography was able to express his kind heart toward his mother, and his intense desire to be the best through rigorous training and dedication. But Shakespeare on the other hand, takes this biography and life of a great man and fictionalizes it to create a story that is both entertaining and one that follows the traditional Shakespearean tragedy. In Plutarch's version there is a constant amount of information and stories of Coriolanus's life, as well, there are a plethora of quotes that allow the reader to judge the person on their own. Shakespeare is able to take Coriolanus's life and turn it into a Shakespearean tragedy, like always Shakespeare starts by building the character up so he depicts Coriolanus as a great war hero and pushes the fact that he is a great man; but then quickly builds to a tragic death one that is particularly odd. Shakespeare's style of writing and thought process causes him to recreate these amazing people in interesting ways, he understands their greatness but still follows his traditional mindset; the idea that there is always a build up, climax, and sudden downfall.

Shakespeare uses major details in Coriolanus's life that adds a sense of realization to the fictional play. He elaborates on the fact that these two great men Aufidius and Coriolanus were the two great generals and fighters of their time, Aufidius from the Volscian army and Coriolanus from the Roman army. He urges this in the beggining of the play to insinuate that in the near future there will be conflict between the two. "Marcius: They have a leader, Tullus Aufidius, that will put you to 't. I sin in envying his nobility, And were I any thing but what I am, I would wish me only he.... Were half to half the world by the ears and he. Upon my party, I'ld revolt to make Only my wars with him: he is a lion That I am proud to hunt" (Coriolanus, Act1 Scene 1). Shakespeare creates a complete story that almost seems real, he adds individuals like Junius Brutus and Sicinis Velutus to keep the true sense of Coriolanus. Shakespeare uses his normals tricks in this play, he has two characters plotting against the hero, and a major capability of a let down. This allows for a major dilemma in the play and suspense, and invites the idea into the readers head that Coriolanus is in danger. While everyone in Rome is ready to praise Coriolanus for his great war strategy/ victory, Brutus and Velutus worried about his political success decides to try and sabatash him. "Or let us stand to our authority, Or let us lose it. We do here pronounce, Upon the part o' the people, in whose power We were elected theirs, Marcius is worthy Of present death" (Coriolanus, Act3 Scene 1). Creating delimmas is a key strategy is Shakespeare's writing it allowed him to cause drama and suspense, and create conflict that would normally end up with someones death. The dilemma he creates in Coriolanus ignites when Coriolanus accuses Brutus and Velutus of rallying the Phobeans against him, and later the two Tribunes accusing Coriolanus of treason. The entire ordeal became irrate and in the end Coriolanus had been banished from Rome. Shakespeare uses Coriolanus's banishment for a sudden rage of vengeance, in which, Coriolanus decides to switch sides and beg Aufidius to join his army and destroy Rome as revenge. In the end, Coriolanus is talked out of taking over Rome by his mother through a very heart warming quote. "If I cannot persuade thee Rather to show a noble grace to both parts Than seek the end of one, thou shalt no sooner March to assault they country than to tread-- Trust to't, thou shalt not-- on thy mother's womb That brought thee to this world" (Coriolanus, Act 5 Scene 3). Listening to his mothers warm words he decides to call off the attack. And when he returns to the Volscians he is murdered due to treason. Shakespeare creates this entire play through studying a mans life and taking events in his life and putting it into a traditional Shakespeare tragedy.

Shakespeare likes to write intense tragedies, if he would have wrote a play about Alcibiades life he would have first built him up and the slowly destroyed him. I feel like the play would start by explaining how Alcibiades was supposed to be a man of wit, and that he was a fantastic general for Athens. But then he would cause a major dilemma in the play, something that actually happened in Alcibiades life like his affairs with the King's wife and noble women. And through suspense and drama he would be discovered and it would be means to his death. Shakespeare would have loved to write this tragedy because he was the best at it.

Shakespeare and Plutarch are completely different writers and it shows through the two texts. Plutarch likes to give straight facts and quotes that allow the reader to access the person on their own, but Shakespeare likes to create stories and destroy the lives of the main characters. Their styles of writing cause for the same person to be written on completely differently. But each text encompasses the writer through the words and the ideas.

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