Coriolanus by William Shakespeare

      Shakespeare’s Coriolanus is based on the life of the legendary Roman leader Caius Marcius Coriolanus.

      The people of Rome were agitated because there was no food available. While Menenius Agrippa, a popular senator, managed to calm them, the arrogant and fiery young general, Caius Marcius, aroused their emotions again by confronting them.

      Marcius led the Roman army against the Volscian forces, led by Tullus Aufidius, which were threatening Rome. Marcius defeated the Volscian in their own city, Corioli, with great personal velour, and was given the title of ‘Coriolanus’. When he returned to Rome the senate elected him succeed, Comenius Consul. He accepted the honour but refused to subject himself to the endorsement of the common people in the market place. Coriolanus was contemptuous towards people and denied them their right to corn free of cost. Eventually, he was expelled from Rome.

      Coriolanus went to the Volscian city of Antium in disguise and was welcomed by his former enemy, Aufidius. Coriolanus joined forces with Aufidius to challenge Rome.

      All diplomatic attempts to stop him failed until his mother, his wife, Virgilia, and his young son, approached him. He is unable to resist their entreaties and agrees to make peace. However, when he returned to the Volscian capital, he was killed by conspirators.

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