From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

Analysis: Tone

Take a story's temperature by studying its tone. Is it hopeful? Cynical? Snarky? Playful?

Harsh, Cynical

This play has a bad attitude. Think about it: Coriolanus tells us that, in order to be a successful politician, you you have to be a big phony who's willing to pander for votes. The play's most successful political leaders (all aristocratic men) are manipulative and don't actually care about the Roman Citizens. But it's not just the political leaders who are flawed in this play. Shakespeare portrays the lower class voters as a fickle mob of ignorant, crude, and cowardly plebeians.

Harsh? Yep. Cynical? You bet.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement