Why are the plebians so hostile toward Coriolanus?

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Caius Marcius was an outstanding Roman general. His courage while fighting for the Roman army inspired the commander, Cominius, to bestow upon him a fourth name - Coriolanus.

Coriolanus was loyal and devoted to the Roman army. So much so that when they returned after their victory over the Tarquin kings, he refused to open the stores of grains to ordinary citizens. His reasoning being that lacking military service, they were unworthy to be fed.

He even went so far as to announce that for patricians to be subservient to plebeians was comparable to “crows pecking eagles”. A statement which saw him exiled from Rome by two tribunes.

His arrogance lead him to tell the tale of how, in actuality, he banished Rome from HIS presence. In a misguided attempt to shame Rome for exiling him, he undertakes to hire an assassin to kill him.

These exploits sound more like the antics of a petulant, jilted lover than a courageous Roman general. No wonder the plebeians had no tolerance for him.

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