Volumnia Character Analysis

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1.2. Volumnia’s role on shaping Coriolanus’ character
Volumnia is the dominating character of the play, for that, even when she is not present, one can understand her influence and presence in other characters. Thus, Volumnia has a great impact on the most actions of the play, either directly or indirectly. Not only that, she has a significant control and power over her son, Coriolanus, which serves to build his character.
Coriolanus, being her only son, was educated with military principles and values. He was sent to war since he was at a very young age and was separated from the love and care of his mother. Being deprived from these, he was grown to be a man with a great pride, anger and martial in every aspect.
He defined and shaped himself based on his mother’s instructions and requirements. He did nothing without his mother’s
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Volumnia, being so highly proud over her son being a soldier, when people of Rome banish him, her pride is injured and her motherly soul appears and her feminine nature manifests itself. Her feelings as a mother overcome her feelings as soldier such her patriotism. Being her son banished, she cries out about this, not only because her pride is humiliated, but because her own son is being humiliated. Thus, she blames and curses Rome and its citizens saying: “Now the red pestilence strike all trades in Rome, And occupations perish!” (4. 1. 14-15). Volumnia through these words reveals the womanlike nature and the nature of a mother, who rejects her pride, her nationality and everything she ever took pride of. According to Jameson, when she says “Ere you go, hear this; / As far as doth the Capitol exceed/The meanest house in Rome, so far my son, / Whom you have banished, does exceed you all” (4. 2. 39-43), she proves herself she “would never have exclaimed like the Spartan mother, of her dead son, ‘Sparta has many others as brave as he’” (Jameson, 1843, pp.

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