Coriolanus: The Downfall Of The Tragic Hero

1995 Words8 Pages
Introduction
Coriolanus is one of Shakespeare’s latest tragedies and depicts the life and downfall of the great Roman leader Caius Marcius, later named Coriolanus. We, the audience, follow this soldier turned politician as he struggles against his very nature to gain control over a people who despise him, and quite possibly to avoid the inevitable downfall of the tragic hero. The play has been described, as of its hero, as perhaps one of Shakespeare’s greatest, or at least biggest, creations. It is possible that this could be due to certain paradoxical features in the hero’s personality, or perhaps because we are presented to this deeply flawed mystery that is Caius Marcius Coriolanus, whose nature initially makes it difficult for the audience to sympathise with him.
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In fact it has been said that: “[Coriolanus] does not merely stand at the center of the tragedy; he is the tragedy. He brings no one with him in his fall, and his character is entirely sufficient to explain his fall.” However, we must then ask what exactly it is in his character which causes his downfall? As with all of Shakespeare’s plays there is a vast amount of research concerning Coriolanus, however, much of this concerns the politics of the play rather than its protagonist. Therefore it is an interesting matter to explore further. The following analysis will investigate the dispositional factors which lead to the downfall of the protagonist Caius Marcius Coriolanus. Focusing on Coriolanus as a tragic hero and exploring the flaws which makes him one. Furthermore explaining his paradoxical nature which makes him such a fascinating character. This analysis will be based on the following question:
“How does dispositional factors make Caius Marcius Coriolanus a tragic hero and eventually cause his

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