Coriolanus Characters

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Coriolanus

In the figure of Coriolanus Shakespeare presented a truly paradoxical hero. He appears cold and aloof yet undeniably passionate, scornful but noble, indomitable in battle but submissive toward his mother, steadfast but traitorous, pitiless yet ultimately merciful. Coriolanus despises the common man, and fails to see that the plebeians have any significant role to play in society. Yet, he is not political by nature. The idea of compromise does not enter in his motivations or actions. He bases his decisions on honor and the military ideals of a warrior.

Critics have frequently judged Coriolanus as unsympathetic, seeing in his motivation to protect Rome not a sense of duty, but rather expressions of his grandiose pride and warlike nature. Coriolanus is also cited for his lack of an introspective capacity or of any significant self-awareness, as well as for his inflexibility and complete inability to adequately function in...

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This section contains 929 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Coriolanus Study Guide
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Coriolanus from Shakespeare for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.