Coriolanus

Cominius Character Analysis

Read our modern English translation.
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 surrogate father figure to Coriolanus and a campaign coach. Cominius is also a skilled orator, as it’s his chronicle of Coriolanus’s military deeds that first proclaims Coriolanus’s worthiness to the public and announces him as a candidate for consul.

Cominius Quotes in Coriolanus

The Coriolanus quotes below are all either spoken by Cominius or refer to Cominius. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Simon & Schuster edition of Coriolanus published in 2009.
Act 2, Scene 2 Quotes

I shall lack voice. The deeds of Coriolanus
Should not be uttered feebly.

At sixteen years,
When Tarquin made a head for Rome, he fought
Beyond the mark of others. Our then dictator,
Whom with all praise I point at, saw him fight
When with his Amazonian chin he drove
The bristled lips before him. He bestrid
An o’erpressed Roman and i’ th’ Consul’s view
Slew three opposers. Tarquin’s self he met
And struck him on his knee. In that day’s feats,
When he might act the woman in the scene,
He proved best man i’ th’ field and for his meed
Was brow-bound with the oak. His pupil age
Man-entered thus, he waxèd like a sea,
And in the brunt of seventeen battles since
He lurched all swords of the garland.

Related Characters: Cominius (speaker), Caius Martius / Coriolanus
Related Symbols: Wounds and Blood, Voices
Page Number: 2.2.98-117
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other Coriolanus quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!

Before and in Corioles, let me say,
I cannot speak him home. He stopped the flyers
And by his rare example made the coward
Turn terror into sport. As weeds before
A vessel under sail, so men obeyed
And fell below his stem. His sword, Death’s stamp,
Where it did mark, it took; from face to foot
He was a thing of blood, whose every motion
Was timed with dying cries. Alone he entered
The mortal gate o’ th’ city, which he painted
With shunless destiny; aidless came off
And with a sudden reinforcement struck
Corioles like a planet.

Related Characters: Cominius (speaker), Caius Martius / Coriolanus
Related Symbols: Wounds and Blood, Voices
Page Number: 2.2.118-130
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Act 4, Scene 6 Quotes

He is their god; he leads them like a thing
Made by some other deity than Nature,
That shapes man better; and they follow him
Against us brats with no less confidence
Than boys pursuing summer butterflies
Or butchers killing flies.

Page Number: 4.6.115-120
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Act 5, Scene 1 Quotes

Yet one time he did call me by my name.
I urged our old acquaintance, and the drops
That we have bled together. “Coriolanus”
He would not answer to, forbade all names.
He was a kind of nothing, titleless,
Till he had forged himself a name o’ th’ fire
Of burning Rome.

Related Characters: Cominius (speaker), Caius Martius / Coriolanus, Menenius Agrippa
Related Symbols: Wounds and Blood
Page Number: 5.1.10-16
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Get the entire Coriolanus LitChart as a printable PDF.
Coriolanus.pdf.medium

Cominius Character Timeline in Coriolanus

The timeline below shows where the character Cominius appears in Coriolanus. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 1
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
...superfluity.” Sicinius Velutus and Junius Brutus (the two new tribunes) enter along with Roman general Cominius, his lieutenant Titus Lartius, and other Roman Senators. One senator affirms what Martius just heard... (full context)
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
...is a lion that [Martius is] proud to hunt.” Martius and Lartius agree to accompany Cominius in the war, and the senators beckon all of the soldiers to return to the... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 2
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
...that Rome has gathered an army. The report says that included in that army are Cominius, Caius Martius (who is Aufidius’s old enemy, and is hated by Rome more than Aufidius... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 3
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Family and Femininity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
...she’ll agree to go with her. The Volscians have gathered an army now pitted against Cominius and part of the Roman army; Caius Martius (and Titus Lartius) are attacking and prevailing... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 4
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
...with Roman soldiers, are outside the gates of Corioles; a messenger approaches. Martius wagers that Cominius has met the enemy, and Lartius takes the bet, offering his horse against Martius’s. The... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 5
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
...After they exit, a battle alarum is sounded in the distance, which Martius recognizes as Cominius’s. Martius believes that his enemy, “the man of [his] soul’s hate, Aufidius” is the one... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 6
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Near the Roman camp, Cominius enters with Roman soldiers. He commends his troops on a battle well fought, but warns... (full context)
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
Caius Martius then enters the camp in a bloodied state that Cominius has seen many times before. Martius repeatedly asks if he has come too late, and... (full context)
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
Language and Names Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
Cominius asks how Titus Lartius is, and Martius reports that he is busy running the city... (full context)
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
Cominius believes the nearing army is made up of soldiers from Antium, including Aufidius. Martius asks... (full context)
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
...himself, Martius selects only a few of them, leaving the rest to some other battle. Cominius commands Martius and his group to march on and live up to the bravery they... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 9
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
Language and Names Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
Cominius and the Roman soldiers are met by Martius, whose arm is tied in a sling.... (full context)
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
Language and Names Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
Cominius insists that Martius not hide his accomplishment and merit, since Rome must know what a... (full context)
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
Language and Names Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
Cominius then offers Martius his choice of all of the horses they have taken in the... (full context)
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
Language and Names Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
Cominius believes that Martius is being much too modest and cruel to himself. If Caius Martius... (full context)
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
Language and Names Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
Coriolanus says he’ll go wash off the blood, after which Cominius will be able to tell if he is blushing. Coriolanus thanks the general, and says... (full context)
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
Language and Names Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
Coriolanus, after refusing most gifts from his general, asks Cominius for a favor. Once Coriolanus stayed in the city at a poor man’s house, where... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 1
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
Language and Names Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Family and Femininity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
...(had he not escaped) for all the gold in the city of Corioles. Letters from Cominius have been delivered to the Roman Senate, and they say that Martius has outdone, and... (full context)
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
Language and Names Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
Cominius arrives with Titus Lartius, captains, Roman soldiers, a Roman herald, and Coriolanus, who is crowned... (full context)
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
Language and Names Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
...that though there are some “old crab trees’ that might not be excited to see Cominius, Lartius, and Coriolanus, he believes the three men should be doted on by Rome. (full context)
Act 2, Scene 2
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
Language and Names Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
Roman Senators enter along with the tribunes, Cominius, Menenius, and Coriolanus. Coriolanus stands, and Menenius says it’s time to honor the noble service... (full context)
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
Language and Names Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
...rather risk losing all of his limbs in battle than be flattered himself. Menenius tells Cominius to proceed in recounting Coriolanus’s deeds. (full context)
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
Language and Names Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Family and Femininity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
Cominius begins humbly, saying “I shall lack voice,” and he notes that Coriolanus’s deeds should not... (full context)
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
Language and Names Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
As for this last battle at Corioles, Cominius claims, he cannot even do Coriolanus justice. Coriolanus stopped soldiers from fleeing, and by his... (full context)
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
Language and Names Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
...man,” and a Roman senator says that Coriolanus cannot be honored enough for these deeds. Cominius tells of how Coriolanus denied all the spoils of war he was offered, since for... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 1
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
Coriolanus, Menenius, Cominius, Lartius, Roman Senators, and other patricians enter a street in Rome. Coriolanus asks Lartius if... (full context)
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
Language and Names Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
...and exhibit a calmer, “gentler spirit.” Menenius and a senator try to calm Coriolanus, and Cominius says that the people have been deceived and manipulated by the tribunes, but Coriolanus remains... (full context)
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
Language and Names Theme Icon
...the minnows,” and makes sure his fellow nobles noticed Sicinius’s use of the absolute “shall.” Cominius remarks that Sicinius was out of line, and Coriolanus launches into a furious speech. He... (full context)
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
Language and Names Theme Icon
Cominius tries to cut Coriolanus off, saying that they should all go to the marketplace to... (full context)
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
Language and Names Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
...them at once. Menenius says he wishes he could fight with the two tribunes, but Cominius says the situation has already gotten too far out of hand. He explains that it’s... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 2
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
Language and Names Theme Icon
Family and Femininity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
Cominius enters Coriolanus’s house and reports that he has been to the marketplace. He says Coriolanus... (full context)
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
Language and Names Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Family and Femininity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
Cominius reassures Coriolanus that he will be prompted on what to say. Just like Volumnia first... (full context)
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
Language and Names Theme Icon
Family and Femininity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
...consul, or else they should never trust his ability to flatter again. Volumnia exits, and Cominius warns Coriolanus to answer mildly, as the tribunes have prepared even harsher accusations than before.... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 3
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
Language and Names Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
Coriolanus, Menenius, Cominius, and other Senators enter. Aside, Menenius reminds Coriolanus to be calm, and Coriolanus begrudgingly agrees.... (full context)
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
Language and Names Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Family and Femininity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
...knowing nothing of service. Menenius reminds Coriolanus that he promised Volumnia to be mild, and Cominius tries to calm him, but he will not be calmed. He says that even if... (full context)
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
Language and Names Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
...Rome on pain of death. The people all cry out in support for the banishment. Cominius tries to speak, reminding the tribunes that he himself was once consul and can show... (full context)
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
Language and Names Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
...on the city. He says “there is a world elsewhere,” and he exits along with Cominius, Menenius, and the other Roman senators. The people and tribunes rejoice that their enemy has... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 1
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
Language and Names Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Family and Femininity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
Outside a gate of Rome, Coriolanus is saying farewell to Volumnia, Virgilia, Menenius, Cominius, and the young nobles of Rome. He tells them to leave their tears, asking for... (full context)
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
Language and Names Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Family and Femininity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
...done six of his tasks herself to save him some of the work. He tells Cominius not to be sad, and says goodbye to his wife and mother. He tells Menenius... (full context)
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
Language and Names Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Family and Femininity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
Volumnia tries to convince Coriolanus to take Cominius with him until he gets settled, and Cominius says he’s happy to go, especially since... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 6
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
Language and Names Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Family and Femininity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
Cominius enters, and sarcastically tells the tribunes that they have done good work, helping to “ravish... (full context)
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
Language and Names Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
Menenius thinks they are “all undone,” unless Coriolanus shows mercy. Cominius wonders who will ask for this mercy, since the tribunes and the people certainly cannot,... (full context)
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
Language and Names Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
...way to the tribunes and the common people, who shouted Coriolanus out of the city. Cominius fears they’ll soon shout him back in, since Aufidius is acting as an officer to... (full context)
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
Language and Names Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
...that Coriolanus consented to the banishment, but the people didn’t really want it to happen. Cominius cries out, “you’re goodly things, you voices!” Menenius again says they have done good work,... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 1
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
Language and Names Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
In a public place in Rome, Menenius, Cominius, Sicinius, and Brutus discuss Coriolanus. Menenius refuses to go beg Coriolanus for mercy, even though... (full context)
Politics, Class, and Rome Theme Icon
Language and Names Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Family and Femininity Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Humanity Theme Icon
...Coriolanus will listen. He guesses that Coriolanus had not eaten when he refused to hear Cominius. Without food, he says, humans get cold blood and are likely to be unforgiving, while... (full context)