Coriolanus is a tragedy by William Shakespeare that was first performed around 1609. Like Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra, it is a Roman play. But unlike those plays, it is not set in the Imperial Rome of the first century CE, but more than two centuries earlier, when Rome was just one Italian city among many, fighting for survival. Coriolanus is also an unusually political play. It portrays a patrician-plebeian conflict that in some ways echoed the ongoing political struggle between King James and the English Parliament when the play was written.


Read one-minute Sparklet summaries, the detailed scene-by-scene Summary & Analysis, the Full Play Summary, or the Full Play Analysis of Coriolanus.


See a complete list of the characters in Coriolanus.

Deeper Study

Enchance your understanding of Coriolanus by reading background information about William Shakespeare and the play as well as mini essays about important aspects of the play.