Coriolanus

by: William Shakespeare

Suggested Essay Topics

Discuss the relationship between Coriolanus and Tullus Aufidius.

Analyze the characters of the tribunes, Brutus and Sicinius, and discuss their roles in the play. Are they villains? Why or why not?

Analyze the crowds of plebeians. How does Shakespeare portray them?

Discuss the character of Menenius. What role does he play in the tragedy?

Compare and contrast the way the play portrays war: the display of brute force but also honor and politics--the display of subtle wits and diplomacy but also manipulation and role-playing.

What are the primary reasons for Coriolanus' failing to become consul? Can his adversaries take credit? Is he prevented by the rising self-awareness of the plebeians, their realization that they need not settle for a ruler who will not listen to them? Are Coriolanus' own character flaws to blame? Defend your answer.

Why does Coriolanus spare Rome at the end of play? Defend your answer.