Coriolanus

Comparison of the 'Coriolanus Asks for the People's Voices' Scene in the Film and Text Versions 12th Grade

Despite the adaptation of a text to film benefiting from the opportunities and abilities bestowed to a director through the visual aspect of the medium, narrative complexity and depth of literary themes almost inevitably suffer a condensation. Ralph Fiennes’s adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Coriolanus is not immune to this trend, with temporal constraints forcing Fiennes to focus upon thematic elements of Shakespeare’s original work that he finds to be integral to his interpretation. Whereas Shakespeare’s characterization of key figures such as Coriolanus and the Tribunes are mainly dependent upon dialogue, Fiennes integrates techniques specific to his chosen medium in order to achieve the equivalent intention. Moreover, Fiennes’s modification of the setting and aspects of the historical context assists in the distinction of Fiennes’s film as an adaptation with its own unique emphases, rather than a visual reconstruction of the original play, while still effectively maintaining the essence of Shakespeare’s piece.

Fiennes’s selection of modifications and emphases within the focus scene provide a characterization of the Tribunes in line with that of Shakespeare. Fiennes mirrors Shakespeare’s presentation of the Tribunes as...

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