Coriolanus (Gnaeus Marcius Coriolanus) (kôr´ēəlā´nəs), Roman patrician. He is said to have derived his name from the capture of the Volscian city Corioli. According to legend he was expelled from Rome because he demanded the abolition of the people's tribunate in return for distributing state grain to the starving plebeians. He joined the Volscians and led (491? BC) them in an attack on Rome. Only the tears of his wife and his mother caused him to spare the city. The angry and frustrated Volscians put him to death. Plutarch tells the story, and Shakespeare's Coriolanus is based on Plutarch.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Coriolanus: Selected full-text books and articles

FREE! Coriolanus
William Shakespeare.
University Society, 1901
Shakespeare the Playwright: A Companion to the Complete Tragedies, Histories, Comedies, and Romances
Victor L. Cahn.
Praeger, 1996
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Coriolanus begins on p. 241
Shakespeare's Craft: Eight Lectures
Philip H. Highfill Jr.
Southern Illinois University Press, 1982
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 2 "Julius Caesar and Coriolanus: Shakespeare's Roman World of Words"
Shakespeare's Political Drama: The History Plays and the Roman Plays
Alexander Leggatt.
Routledge, 1989
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 8 "Coriolanus"
Shakespeare's Arguments with History
Ronald Knowles.
Palgrave, 2002
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 9 "Coriolanus"
The Common Good and the Necessity of War: Emergent Republican Ideals in Shakespeare's Henry V and Coriolanus
Banerjee, Rita.
Comparative Drama, Vol. 40, No. 1, Spring 2006
Privileging Gender in Early Modern England
Jean R. Brink.
Sixteenth Century Journal Publishers, 1993
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Five "An Intertextual Study of Volumnia: From Legend to Character in Shakespeare's Coriolanus"
Shakespeare on Masculinity
Robin Headlam Wells.
Cambridge University Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "'Flower of Warriors': Coriolanus"
Comic Women, Tragic Men: A Study of Gender and Genre in Shakespeare
Linda Bamber.
Stanford University Press, 1982
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Four "Macbeth and Coriolanus"
Shame in Shakespeare
Ewan Fernie.
Routledge, 2002
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 8 "Antony and Cleopatra and Coriolanus"
The Performance of Conviction: Plainness and Rhetoric in the Early English Renaissance
Kenneth J. E. Graham.
Cornell University Press, 1994
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "The Performance of Pride: Desire, Truth, and Power in Coriolanus and Timon of Athens"
Shakespeare and the Question of Theory
Patricia Parker; Geoffrey Hartman.
Methuen, 1995
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 13 "'Who Does the Wolf Love?': Coriolanus and the Interpretations of Politics"
Shakespeare's Tragic Frontier: The World of His Final Tragedies
Willard Farnham.
University of California Press, 1950
Librarian’s tip: Chap. V "Coriolanus"
Shakespeare's Festive Tragedy: The Ritual Foundations of Genre
Naomi Conn Liebler.
Routledge, 1995
Librarian’s tip: "Bread and Circuses: Coriolanus and St. George" begins on p. 155
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