© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

Guide Mentor

Character Role Analysis


Volumnia just might be the ultimate stage mom: she raises her son to be Rome's deadliest warrior and then pushes him into running for political office and then convinces him not to destroy Rome in Act 5, scene 3. Oops. This gets Coriolanus killed, when the Volscians accuse him of treason for signing a peace treaty with Rome.


Volumnia may be the most Coriolanus' mother, but Menenius is his father figure to Coriolanus. In Act 5, scene 2, Menenius visits Coriolanus and begs him to take mercy on Rome. In the process, he reminds Coriolanus over and over that they've always had a father/son type relationship.