William Shakespeare

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Coriolanus Characters

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Caius Martius / Coriolanus

Caius Martius is an aristocratic Roman general with unmatchable military and combat skills. His mother, Volumnia, sent him into battle as a boy, where he gained a reputation for being something like a super… read analysis of Caius Martius / Coriolanus


Volumnia is the bold and domineering mother of Caius Martius Coriolanus. She cares about her son, but mostly seems to care about his honor and his success, almost like an early modern stage mother… read analysis of Volumnia


Virgilia is the wife of Coriolanus. While Volumnia hopes that Coriolanus has been wounded, Virgilia simply hopes that he is safe—she is much more submissive and less forceful in her opinions than her… read analysis of Virgilia

Tullus Aufidius

Tullus Aufidius is a Volscian general and the mortal enemy of Caius Martius Coriolanus. The two men have an agreement to fight in hand-to-hand combat whenever they meet on the battlefield. Between the two… read analysis of Tullus Aufidius

Menenius Agrippa

Menenius is a Roman patrician and surrogate father figure to Coriolanus. He is a master orator and politician, able to expertly calm the common people during the play’s opening rebellion by telling the bellyread analysis of Menenius Agrippa
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Cominius is the head Roman general and a senator. He is Caius Martius’s commander and superior, and it is Cominius that grants Caius Martius the name of “Coriolanus.” Like Menenius, he is a… read analysis of Cominius

Roman Citizens

The Roman citizens in the play are described as a hungry, volatile mob. They riot because of food shortages, and they elect Junius Brutus and Sicinius Velutus as tribunes; they hate Caius Martius. Throughout… read analysis of Roman Citizens
Minor Characters
Young Martius
Young Martius is the son of Coriolanus. When he rips apart a butterfly, Volumnia praises him for having the violent spirit of his father.
Sicinius Velutus
Sicinius Velutus harnesses the public unrest during the food riots to be named a Roman tribune of the people. He recognizes Coriolanus’s disdain for the common people, hates Coriolanus, and, with Junius Brutus, uses his political acumen to get Coriolanus banned from Rome.
Junius Brutus
Junius Brutus is the other Roman tribune of the people. With Sicinius Velutus, he turns the people against Coriolanus and gets him banned from Rome.
Valeria is a Roman lady and Virgilia’s friend.
A Gentlewoman
A gentlewoman serving Volumnia and Valeria.
Titus Lartius
Titus Lartius is a Roman general and senator.
Niancor is a Roman defector who spies on Rome for the Volscians.
Adrian is a spy for the Volscians and a friend of Niancor.
Roman Soldiers
Roman soldiers that fight alongside, then abandon Coriolanus, favoring the spoils of war over the fighting itself. They are cowardly and greedy, and they think it’s absurd for Coriolanus (then Caius Martius) to try and enter the city of Corioles during the battle.
Roman Senators and Nobles
There are several unnamed Roman senators and nobles in the play who support Coriolanus for his deeds and his love of patricians.
A Roman Lieutenant
A Roman lieutenant to Lartius.
Roman Officers
Officials of the Roman senate.
Roman Aediles
Officers commanded by the Roman tribunes.
Roman Herald
An unnamed herald of Rome.
Roman Messengers
Several Roman messengers deliver information throughout the play.
Volscian Conspirators
They conspire along with Aufidius to turn on and kill Coriolanus at the end of the play.
Volscian Senators and Lords
Several Volscian senators who trust and support Aufidius.
Volscian Lieutenant
A lieutenant to and follower of Aufidius.
Volscian Soldiers
Soldiers fighting for Aufidius. They are terrified of Coriolanus.
Two Members of the Volscian Watch
Two watchmen at the Volscian camp; they turn Menenius away from the camp when he comes to plead with Coriolanus.
Volscian People
The Volscian people accept Coriolanus as a general, but when prompted by Aufidius and the Volscian conspirators, they remember that Coriolanus has killed their family members and turn back against him.
Three Servants of Aufidius
Three servants working for Aufidius. They encounter the disguised Coriolanus.
Citizen of Antium
A citizen of Antium who shows a disguised Coriolanus where to find Aufidius.