Published online by Cambridge University Press: 11 December 2020
The chapter considers tropes of violence in Coriolanus and The Taming of the Shrew. It examines some of the ways these have been shaped by cross-pollination among stage, cinema, and television. For Coriolanus this includes cinema’s increase in realistic cinematic violence and the profitable rise of action hero films. The screen makes highly visible the play’s physical violence marked by signifiers of masculinity: bleeding wounds (received or given in battle) and the scars they leave. Screen versions discussed include: televised Coriolanus broadcasts, one in Italy on RAI television (1965) and the other seen internationally through the BBC Shakespeare Series (1984); stage productions by France’s National Populaire Villeurbanne (2006), and England’s Royal Shakespeare Company (2018); and Ralph Fiennes’s film (2011). The major films of The Taming of the Shrew include two mass-market movies starring celebrity couples, Mary Pickford/Douglas Fairbanks, directed by Sam Taylor (1927) and Elizabeth Taylor/Richard Burton directed by Franco Zeffirelli (1966), the BBC Shakespeare Series’ Shrew directed by Jonathan Miller (1980) and the Shakespeare Globe’s stage production (2012).