Volumnia is a fascinating character in William Shakespeare's play Coriolanus. She is the mother of the title character, Coriolanus, and plays a significant role in the events of the play. Her strong personality and unwavering determination make her a memorable character in Shakespeare's canon.
As the mother of Coriolanus, Volumnia is portrayed as a fiercely patriotic and ambitious woman. She is deeply invested in her son's success and is willing to do whatever it takes to see him rise to power. Volumnia's influence on Coriolanus is evident throughout the play, as she constantly pushes him to pursue a career in politics and military service.
Volumnia's character is best exemplified by her famous monologue in Act 1, Scene 3, where she passionately argues for her son's appointment as consul. In this scene, she delivers a powerful and persuasive speech that showcases her intelligence and rhetorical skill. Her words not only convince the Roman Senate to grant Coriolanus the consulship but also demonstrate her ability to manipulate others to achieve her goals.
Volumnia's influence over Coriolanus is a central theme in the play. Her ambition for her son is so strong that it borders on obsession. She manipulates him with her words and emotional blackmail, using her love for him as a weapon to control his actions. Volumnia's manipulation ultimately leads to Coriolanus's downfall, as he is unable to navigate the political landscape without her guidance.
However, Volumnia is not simply a one-dimensional character driven solely by ambition. She also exhibits a deep love and loyalty towards her family and her city. Despite her manipulative tendencies, Volumnia genuinely believes that her actions are in the best interest of Rome. She sees her son's success as essential for the prosperity and security of the city, and she is willing to sacrifice everything to achieve that goal.
In conclusion, Volumnia is a complex and compelling character in Coriolanus. Her unwavering ambition, manipulation, and love for her son make her a memorable presence in the play. Whether one views her as a devoted mother or a conniving manipulator, there is no denying the impact she has on the events of the play. Volumnia's character serves as a reminder of the power of influence and the lengths a mother will go to ensure the success of her child.