Caius Martius (“Coriolanus”)

A Roman general, he is given the name “Coriolanus” after he leads the Roman armies to victory against the Volscian city of Corioles. Brave, fearsome in battle, and extremely honorable, he is also overly proud, immature, inflexible, and stubbornly aristocratic. These faults, combined with a fierce contempt for the lower classes of Rome, lead to his exile from his native city.

Read a mini essay that analyzes the character of Coriolanus.


A Roman noblewoman and the mother of Coriolanus. She is devoted to her son and delights in his military exploits, having raised him to be a warrior; he, in turn, often allows himself to be dominated by her iron will.

Read a mini essay about the role of women such as Volumnia in the play.


A Roman nobleman, or patrician, and a friend to Coriolanus. Gifted with a clever tongue, he has a reputation as a great wit, which he uses adeptly to avoid conflict.


One of the tribunes elected by the common people, or plebeians, of Rome to serve as their representative in the government. A clever politician, he regards Coriolanus as a great danger to the class he represents and to the Roman state and works to keep him out of power.


A Roman tribune, a clever politician, and Brutus' ally in the struggle against Coriolanus.

Tullus Aufidius

A general of the Volscians, Rome's enemy. He is Coriolanus's great rival in warfare but is not quite the equal of the Roman general, and his inability to defeat Coriolanus rankles him.


A patrician of Rome and a former consul. He is a friend of Coriolanus, and he's one of the generals who leads the Roman army against the Volscians.

Titus Lartius

An old Roman nobleman. He is appointed, along with Cominius, as a general against the Volscians.


A Roman noblewoman and Coriolanus's loyal wife


A Roman noblewoman, she is close friends with Virgilia and Volumnia

Young Martius

Coriolanus and Virgilia's son