Coriolanus : Summary

It is a truth universally acknowledged that if a Shakespeare play ends with a lot of dead people, it's a tragedy, and if it ends with a lot of marriages, it's comedy. Let's see how Coriolanus measures up:

For a play that starts out so bloody, it's kind of surprising what a low death toll there actually is in the end. Aufidius doesn't massacre Volumnia and throw Young Martius from the walls of Rome, Virgilia doesn't eat hot coals, Menenius doesn't impale himself on a sword. It's relatively demure. In fact, the only other tragedy I can think of with such a low body count is Timon of Athens

If you couldn't be bothered to read the whole thing, here's my one-page summary: