In a new production of Shakespeares tragedy, Corionalus
, directed by Josie Rourke, for the Donmar Warhouse, ELLE favourite Tom Hiddleston
plays Caius Marcius Coriolanus. Here, he shares his insight into the play:
Coriolanus is really interesting because the arch is fully tragic. The characters name is Caius Marcius and he is an extraordinary soldier. He is the guy that you want on your team. He is just a righteous badass. He exists and excels in a space where things are very black and white.
Theres a war against a mortal enemy and he takes a town called Coriolies single-handed. Hes not a skilled politician but he gives a big, rousing speech and the gate to the town opens and he says, now put your shields before your hearts and fight with hearts more proof than shields. And runs in and the gates close behind him and his entire army thinks, weve just lost our best man. Hes locked in this enemy town, hes gone. What are we going to do? Half an hour later hes on the battlements covered in blood, screaming hell fury and hes taken the town single-handed.
The towns name is Corialies. At the end of the battle the army are so proud of him. He wont take any prizes so instead they call him Marcius Corialanus as he took Corialies on his own.
He has this backbone and hes unflinching and he does not dilute his integrity at all to the point of being incredibly proud and some might say selfish. Basically his integrity and his virtue are his downfall. And in terms of the arch of a tragic hero its perfect. Amazing, amazing. Take a town, war hero, rebel, outcast, enemy dead.
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