A brave Roman warrior, who has a lot of courage and valor, but is hindered by his pride and indifference toward the common people. He is a man of action, and is uncomfortable with words and political dealings; this proves to be his undoing when he attempts to become consul of Rome.
A wise Roman patrician, highly regarded for his wit and sense of justice. He is a friend of Coriolanus who praises Coriolanus for his military triumphs, but also recognizes Coriolanus' failings. Menenius is good at dealing with people, and serves as a kind of liason between Coriolanus and the citizens.
A general of Rome, he serves with Coriolanus in the war against the Volscians, though Coriolanus outdoes him and every other soldier in valorous deeds. He also likes Coriolanus and admires his military strength.
Another general of Rome, he is very supportive of Coriolanus, to the point of making a speech in favor of his being consul in front of the Senate. Cominius is witness to Coriolanus' acts of bravery in the war against the Volscians, and even gifts him with his surname in honor of the victory.
Coriolanus' overbearing, war-hungry mother. She pushed her son to go off to war at a tender age, and feeds off his triumphs. She even tries to push Coriolanus into politics, though he is fundamentally unsuited to the demands of being a consul. She is a classic overbearing mother, to the point of nearly destroying her only and much beloved son.
Coriolanus' wife, she is cowed by Volumnia, and usually remains silent. She is retiring, modest, and patient, though Coriolanus' love and regard for his mother seems greater than the love he has for her. She says and does little throughout the play, except make a final play for Coriolanus' mercy on Rome.
Coriolanus' son, said to resemble him in character and looks. Also used in the last, desperate attempt to stop Coriolanus from attacking Rome.
A Roman lady, she is friend to Volumnia and Virgilia. She seems strong-willed like Volumnia, and believes in the same Roman code of virtues and battle that Volumnia does.
A tribune of Rome, he conspires with Brutus to have Coriolanus thrown out of the city and made unpopular with the people. His only motive is thirst for power, rather than interest for the people he manipulates.
A tribune with Sicinius, he helps to make Coriolanus unpopular with the citizens, and get thrown put of Rome. Also has purely selfish motives, as is clearly apparent in his blatant manipulation of the citizens.
Regarded with indifference by Coriolanus, they are quick to condemn the government and Coriolanus, though their condemnation does nothing to fix the problem. They are easily swayed by the influence of the tribunes to get Coriolanus thrown out of Rome, and then deny their part in the whole affair.
They pale in comparison to Coriolanus in bravery and daring, and are shown retreating, looting, and otherwise behaving with dishonor.
General of the Volscians, he is Coriolanus' mortal enemy, and later an ally. He is a good leader and militarily keen; he and Coriolanus are a good match, though Coriolanus wins their duels through anger and might. Aufidius is fierce, but very trusting of Coriolanus after he defects from Rome.
A Volscian messenger who meets, and trades intelligence, with Nicanor, a Roman, in a surprisingly friendly way.
A Roman who trades information with Adrian, and appears to be friends with him too.
Coriolanus Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Coriolanus is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.