Characters in the Play
As Coriolanus begins, two Roman patricians, Menenius and Martius, calm a revolt by the city’s famished plebians. Martius, who despises the plebians,…
Act 1, scene 1
Rome’s famished plebeians threaten revolt, and the patrician Menenius attempts to placate them. Martius announces that the plebeians, whom he…
Act 1, scene 2
Aufidius and Volscian senators discuss the Roman preparations for war.
Act 1, scene 3
Volumnia, Martius’s mother, and Virgilia, his wife, are visited by Valeria, who brings news of Martius at Corioles.
Act 1, scene 4
Before the Romans can besiege Corioles, the Volscians emerge to attack them. Martius rallies the troops to beat the Volscians…
Act 1, scene 5
Leaving Lartius to secure Corioles, Martius goes to the aid of the Roman general Cominius on the battlefield near the…
Act 1, scene 6
Martius joins Cominius and inspires the Roman troops to further combat.
Act 1, scene 7
Having secured Corioles, Lartius leaves to join Cominius.
Act 1, scene 8
Martius defeats Aufidius and his Volscian supporters.
Act 1, scene 9
Cominius awards Martius the name Coriolanus for his service at Corioles.
Act 1, scene 10
Aufidius vows to destroy Coriolanus by any means possible.
Act 2, scene 1
Coriolanus is welcomed back to Rome by his family and Menenius, and is expected to be elected consul. (Coriolanus’s entry…
Act 2, scene 2
The Senate meets to hear Cominius praise Coriolanus in a formal oration and then to choose Coriolanus as its nominee…
Act 2, scene 3
According to custom, Coriolanus asks a number of individual plebeians for their votes. Although he mocks them, they consent to…
Act 3, scene 1
Learning that the plebeians have revoked their votes, Coriolanus publicly attacks the decision that had given the people tribunes. Accusing…
Act 3, scene 2
The patricians and Volumnia persuade Coriolanus to pretend to tolerate the plebeians and their tribunes.
Act 3, scene 3
When the tribunes call Coriolanus a traitor, he angrily insults them, and they first impose a death sentence and then…
Act 4, scene 1
Coriolanus says goodbye to his family and closest supporters.
Act 4, scene 2
Meeting the tribunes, Volumnia and Virgilia curse them.
Act 4, scene 3
A Roman informer tells a Volscian spy of Coriolanus’s banishment.
Act 4, scene 4
Coriolanus comes to the Volscian city of Antium in search of Aufidius.
Act 4, scene 5
Coriolanus offers to join Aufidius in making war on Rome.
Act 4, scene 6
The tribunes’ delight in Coriolanus’s banishment is interrupted by news that an army led by him and Aufidius has invaded…
Act 4, scene 7
Aufidius, offended by the Volscian soldiers’ preference for Coriolanus, begins plotting against him.
Act 5, scene 1
After Cominius fails to persuade Coriolanus not to destroy Rome, Menenius agrees to try.
Act 5, scene 2
Menenius fails to shake Coriolanus’s determination to destroy Rome.
Act 5, scene 3
Volumnia, accompanied by Virgilia, Valeria, and young Martius, persuades Coriolanus to spare Rome.
Act 5, scene 4
News arrives in Rome of Volumnia’s success.
Act 5, scene 5
The Romans honor Volumnia as she returns.
Act 5, scene 6
Aufidius and his fellow conspirators, on their return to Corioles, publicly assassinate Coriolanus.