Date of Award

January 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Theatre Arts

First Advisor

Kathleen McClennan


Shakespeare's Coriolanus is widely considered to be the most political of his plays. Scholarship on the subject of the politics contained within the play arrives at different conclusions. Samuel Coleridge believed the play to be politically impartial. Others believe it betrays an obvious vote of no confidence in the government of the age. Still others believe it is a resounding endorsement of the English aristocracy. This thesis will undertake to discover if more current scholarship, led by the work of Annabel Patterson, which purports that the play is actually an example of early stirrings of republican sentiment, is a viable conclusion to the discourse.