Is Coriolanus a tragic character?

Is Coriolanus a tragic character?

Is Coriolanus a tragic character? 2. Analyze and discuss the role pride plays in Coriolanus.

Which characters demonstrate pride? What are the consequences of their pride? What point does the play seem to make about the nature of pride? 3. Analyze Shakespeare’s depiction of Coriolanus’s struggle to be true to himself, his family, and the state of Rome.

Does one win out over the others? Which one? What does the struggle suggest about the human condition?

4. Was the dominant ideology in Shakespeare’s own society œleft wing or œright wing, and how much importance should we attach to that in forming our own interpretation? What is your own interpretation of the play’s ideology?

5. Is Coriolanus best viewed as an innovator, as a traditionalist fighting innovation in Rome, or as the inevitable product of a particular sort of society. Explain the evidence from the play supporting each of these interpretations, and explain which view is most convincing and why.


Coriolanus is a fine soldier, steadfast and determined in battle. However, in the civilian world, he is out of touch, despising the common people and speaking against rule by “the rabble.” His contempt for the lower classes is a great symptom of his hubris.

Coriolanus does not work well with other people and he is unwilling to compromise. His inflexibility makes him unfit as a political leader. In the end, he turns against Rome, the very thing he defended and risked his life for as a soldier. His inability to change or compromise leads to his betrayal of Rome and his eventual death. He goes from being a hero to being an outcast and betrayer.

Coriolanus also falls because he cannot play the political game. He won’t budge an inch, he won’t use tact when speaking