What hold does Volumnia have upon her son, Coriolanus?
There are three main ways that Volumnia abuses her power over her son which makes her partly culpable for his death. The first way is that Volumnia does in fact have power over Coriolanus which highlights his weakness. The second way is that Volumnia is fully aware of her power which demonstrates her relationship with her son. Lastly, she uses her power to her advantage and in kind, to her son’s disadvantage demonstrating her abuse of the power. We first see Volumnia’s power when Coriolanus returns from the battle in Corioli. Coriolanis is so proud that he does not accept the praise of those he considers less worthy than himself. In fact, he disregards the praise of all Romans except his mother. Another demonstration of the power Volumnia has over Coriolanus occurs when he risks treason by railing against the tribunes that provoked him into losing his temper. Volumnia convinces Coriolanus to apologize to the tribunes and that Coriolanus would disregard his deep belief demonstrates that his integrity is dependent on the will of his mother. The most powerful evidence of Volumnia’s power over Coriolanus is her ability to convince Coriolanus to show mercy on Rome. Honor is Coriolanus’ greatest possession, and when he agrees to spare Rome at the request of his mother, he loses his honor.