Both Citizens are important characters in William Shakespeare's play 'Coriolanus. They represent the common people of Rome and play a significant role in the political and social dynamics of the play. Although they don't have individual names, their collective presence and voice serve as a powerful representation of the masses.
The Citizens first appear in Act I, Scene I, where they are seen engaging in a heated discussion about the grain shortage and high prices. This scene establishes their grievances and sets the stage for their later interactions with Coriolanus and other political figures. They are portrayed as the working-class citizens who are struggling to survive and are deeply affected by the political decisions of the ruling class.
Throughout the play, Both Citizens serve as a chorus, reflecting the opinions, concerns, and emotions of the common people. They act as a collective voice and advocate for their rights and interests. Their presence is often disruptive and chaotic, as they shout and protest, demanding justice and fair treatment.
Both Citizens play a crucial role in the rise and fall of Coriolanus. They are easily swayed by the manipulative tactics of the tribunes, Brutus and Sicinius, who use their influence to turn the citizens against Coriolanus. The Citizens, who initially supported Coriolanus, quickly change their allegiance when he shows disdain for their opinions and refuses to engage with them on an equal level.
The fickleness of Both Citizens highlights the volatile nature of public opinion and the power of persuasion. They are impressionable and easily manipulated, ultimately leading to Coriolanus's banishment from Rome. Their actions also emphasize the fragility of political stability and the danger of disregarding the needs and concerns of the common people.
Despite their flaws, Both Citizens serve as a reminder of the importance of inclusivity and empathy in governance. They highlight the responsibility of leaders to consider the needs and aspirations of all citizens, regardless of their social status. Their presence in Coriolanus adds depth and complexity to the play, shedding light on the complexities of power, politics, and the role of the masses in shaping the destiny of a nation.