Coriolanus Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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How does Coriolanus' relationship with his wife compare to his relationship with his mother?

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In Shakespeare's play, Caius Martius Coriolanus is a warrior par excellence; in fact, he's very good at being a soldier. The main influence in his chosen lifestyle is his mother, Volumnia, one of Shakespeare's most influential maternal figures.

Volumnia cherishes a warrior spirit to rival that of the most battle-hardened Roman soldier. In fact, Coriolanus is inevitably drawn to Volumnia by virtue of his emotional connection to this dominating matriarch. One can argue that he seeks her acceptance and approval as much as he seeks victory on the battlefield. It is Volumnia who encourages her son to excel in warfare and to pursue a course in politics. Coriolanus thinks her "the most noble mother of the world" (Act 5, Scene 3), while Volumnia assures him: "Thou art my warrior; I holp to frame thee" (Act 5, Scene 3). Indeed, Volumnia proudly asserts that "there's no man in the world more bound to 's mother" (Act 5, Scene 3).

On the other hand, Coriolanus' relationship with Virgilia, his patient and...

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