Bachelor of Arts
Department or Program
Medieval and Renaissance Studies
This thesis offers an Aristotelian reading of Coriolanus, with the goal of assessing the viability of individual self-sufficiency. As political and moral treatises, Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics and Politics are valuable intertexts through which Shakespeare’s more imaginative work may be analyzed. I draw on representations of self-sufficiency in both texts in order to consider two larger questions: whether total isolation is practicable, or even possible; and, on the other side, whether social and political expression are ‘merely’ desirable parts of life, or rather necessary for survival. I explore Coriolanus’s dialectic of dependence and self-sufficiency through three recurring themes that appear in both texts: family, food and the body, and divinity.
Marshall, Sarah, ""O'me alone?": Aristotle and the failure of autarky in Shakespeare's Coriolanus" (2020). Senior Capstone Projects. 970.
Classical Literature and Philology Commons, Comparative Literature Commons, Dramatic Literature, Criticism and Theory Commons, Ethics and Political Philosophy Commons, Literature in English, British Isles Commons, Medieval Studies Commons, Renaissance Studies Commons