William Shakespeare

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Coriolanus Symbols

Read our modern English translation.

Hunger, Food, and Cannibalism

Hunger and food are immediately introduced as the crucial driving force of the riots that open the play: the people are hungry and they demand corn, mirroring food revolts from Shakespeare’s own time. And as…

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Body Parts

The renaissance trope of the “body politic” (an analogy comparing various parts of a nation to various body parts) is used throughout the play to describe the political relationship between the government and the governed…

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Wounds and Blood

Given the play’s obsession with body parts and its heavy investment in violence, it makes sense that wounds and blood are another important symbol. Blood represents family and passion, but mostly it relates to violence…

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As explained in the Language and Names theme, voices refer to literal voices and language, to opinions, and to votes, and ultimately they also represent the common people themselves. When Cominius prepares to give a…

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