Tullus Aufidius is a complex and intriguing character in William Shakespeare's play, Coriolanus. As the leader of the Volscian army, Aufidius plays a significant role in the power struggle between Rome and the Volscians. Known for his fierce and ruthless nature, he becomes both a formidable enemy and an unexpected ally to the play's protagonist, Coriolanus.
Born and raised in the city of Antium, Aufidius grows up in an environment of constant conflict and war. From an early age, he learns the art of warfare and becomes a skilled and respected military leader. His reputation as a fearsome warrior is well-known, and his troops admire and follow him with unwavering loyalty.
Throughout the play, Aufidius serves as a foil to Coriolanus. While Coriolanus is a proud Roman general who despises the common people, Aufidius is a champion of the Volscian people and seeks to overthrow the oppressive Roman regime. Their rivalry is built on a foundation of mutual hatred and a desire for power.
Despite their animosity, Aufidius forms an unlikely alliance with Coriolanus when the latter is banished from Rome. Recognizing Coriolanus's military prowess, Aufidius sees an opportunity to use him as a weapon against Rome. Together, they launch a successful attack on the city, causing chaos and panic among the Roman citizens.
However, their alliance is short-lived. Coriolanus's arrogance and disregard for the Volscian troops ultimately lead to a falling out between the two leaders. Aufidius feels betrayed by Coriolanus and vows to seek revenge against him. This sets the stage for the dramatic climax of the play.
Aufidius's complexity lies in his conflicting emotions towards Coriolanus. While he despises him for his arrogance, he also admires him for his military skills. Their relationship is characterized by a mix of rivalry, respect, and a strange sense of camaraderie. Aufidius's inner turmoil adds depth to his character and makes him more than just a one-dimensional antagonist.
In conclusion, Tullus Aufidius is a formidable and enigmatic character in Coriolanus. As the leader of the Volscian army, he poses a significant threat to Rome and serves as a worthy adversary to Coriolanus. His complex relationship with the play's protagonist adds depth and intrigue to the story, making him a memorable character in Shakespeare's canon.