A tragedy typically deals with the downfall of an important character, in a serious play, via a fatal flaw. The audience would feel upset for the character as his weakness is not his fault and his in his nature. A tragedy has an unhappy ending or ongoing poignant events and during Act 5 sc3 and Act 3 sc3 in Shakespeare?s Coriolanus many of these take place.
Coriolanus? weakness is his honesty. As we see later others know how to manipulate this which in turn brings him to his demise. Although he is modest and honourable the common people despise him as he is arrogant about his fighting skills and constantly insults them. ?You dissentious rouges, that, rubbing the poor itch of opinion make yourself scabs?? He speaks his mind and nothing but the truth and because of this the audience first see him as an arrogant character. Due to this at the beginning of the play the citizens are threatening rebellion and call him ?Chief enemy to the people!?
Later on in the play the audience see him as modest as he doesn?t like praise for his great bravery in battle. ?I had rather have my wounds heal again than hear say how I got them.? Coriolanus is a born fighter and is even named after the Roman god of war Mars (Caius Martius). Because of this he receives the name ?Coriolanus? for his brave acts in battle. His mother Volumnia is a very strong, well spoken woman who has great speaking skills. She has brought Coriolanus up to be strong and fearless and follow her teachings, which causes him to be exactly like her in everyway. He has a great grasp of language and uses this to convey his true feelings.
The political system in Rome at the time of the play is a democratic society. This allows the common people to vote for who they want to come to power. This is different to every other city at the time as elsewhere whoever came to power was determined by wealth. This came around after Kings had ruled Rome for years until the last king imposed himself upon a young girl, because of the distress received she later committed suicide in public. The commoners were furious about this and rose up against the king and took over. They took an oath never to allow another king in Rome and created a republic. The people are split into tribes in which each tribe has one vote determined by majority. Coriolanus believes this system to be wrong as he feels that the commoners aren?t able to control the power they have and are not able to make the right decisions.
Act 3 sc3 is the first scene in the play where Shakespeare brings Coriolanus? tragedy to life. This scene is controlled by the tribunes; they have hatched a plan to bring Coriolanus to his exile, ?Put him to choler straight.? They know that he will speak what?s in his heart if he is aggravated enough and they know exactly how to control him. They know that he is a proud man and has a strong nature which causes him not retaliate to insults to his character. The tribunes, mainly Sicinius and Brutus, feel that if...