By the People, for the People

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At Guernica, Tana Wojcznick unpacks Shakespeare’s lesser-known and often-misread play, Coriolanus, to bring us s its timely political warning about populism and democracy:

It’s no accident that Coriolanus is not a favorite in America, where it’s rarely included in the mini-canon of plays each generation tends to play and re-play (such as King Lear today or Romeo and Juliet in the 1990’s). And yet, with the Trump campaign and Brexit getting credit for drawing on populist angst, Coriolanus deserves a second look.The play can help us reconsider what populism is and the ways a “populist” movement can be fostered by, yet not necessarily conducive to, democracy.


Theodora Messalas is a New York-based writer and editor who could easily be talked into going to grad school. More from this author →