William Shakespeare

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Coriolanus: Act 5, Scene 5 Summary & Analysis

Read our modern English translation of this scene.
In a street in Rome, a senator praises Volumnia, Virgilia, and Valeria as they pass by with other lords, calling Volumnia the “patroness, the life of Rome!” He says the people should strew the street with flowers for these women, and undo the banishment of Martius. Everyone cries out, welcoming the ladies back to Rome.
Volumnia has become a new kind of Roman hero in place of her son, and she seems able to preserve her humanity (unlike Coriolanus) in her heroism due to her femininity. The loss of Coriolanus’ heroism is reflected in the loss of his new surname, as he is called “Martius” again.
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
Family and Femininity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon