The play is based on the great Roman leader Gaius Marcius Coriolanus. The play has received critical acclaim from many writers. The character of Volumnia, mother of Coriolanus, is a very important character of…
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"Shakespeare-How would Machiavelli (or a Machiavellian) understand the character of Volumnia in Coriolanus Would he approve or disapprove of her behavior in the play Why"
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The philosophy of Machiavelli has a great deal to day about deception and its use in politics. He thinks that in order to maintain power rulers have to use deception and force to move everyone in the direction they want. In this essay we will close read the play using Machiavelli and will try to answer the question whether Machiavelli would approve of Volumnia’s behavior in the play or not. This is the question we will attempt to answer.
The play starts in Rome where there are riots going on because Coriolanus, the deputy of commander of the Roman army has hold grains from ordinary citizens. Coriolanus is a man who believes that ordinary people should not be given grain because they are not taking part in the military service. He is a great fighter but he has contempt for the common people. His attitude towards common people is that of an arrogant soldier.
The character of Volumnia now plays an active role to make her son consul. She persuades Coriolanus to run for consul even though her son is not willing to do so. But when he couldn’t win the support of the commoners he became angry and talks badly about the plebeians. He is in turn condemned as a traitor and banished from Rome. After his exile he goes to his fierce enemy Aufidius, the commander of the Volscian army. They accept him and allow Coriolanus to lead an attack on Rome. All generals of Rome become worried and try to persuade him not to attack Rome. After all efforts are gone in vain Volumnia is sent to dissuade her son from attacking Rome. She is successful and Coriolanus spares Rome but later is killed by Aufidius for conspiracy.
Volumnia is an important character of the play. She plays a great role in changing the mind of her son twice in the play and both times the outcome is in her benefit. She portrays role of a women who cannot seek power personally but tries to attain power by making her son powerful. She tried to gain power and popularity through her son Coriolanus ...
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