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date: 22 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Shakespeare’s tragedy traces the tensions within a developing constitutional republic that is still reliant on the prowess of militaristic individuals for survival. Coriolanus is fully a tragedy because it traces the negotiation, contestation, and constitution of power through the character of a single hero whose abilities are both crucial to the survival of the republican state and deeply inimical to it. The chapter traces the ways in which the conflict is negotiated through the constitutive power of language, and argues that Coriolanus provokes our admiration through his Stoic determination to preserve his own integrity and arouses our pity through his final acquiescence in the fact that no man can be “author of himself”.

Keywords: Machiavelli, modals, performative, language, constitution, politics, integrity

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