Plutarch's Punishments Of Coriolanus Analysis

1681 Words 7 Pages
The primary goal of the republican politician is to be elected and then reelected. This is necessary for the politician to even exist and must therefore be considered before any other issue. A common result of this is that elected officials will dishonestly try to appeal to the common man to garner votes. History is rife with examples of this. Many contemporary dictators, such as Hugo Chavez and Robert Mugabe, started by being publicly elected. They were able to manipulate the public into putting them into power, and then backtracked on many of the promises that put them in power. Similar things happen all over the world, even in the United States where presidential candidates might promise reforms they have no way of guaranteeing just so they can get in office. In Plutarch 's and Shakespeare’s renditions of Coriolanus, here referenced in tandem to illustrate both the skills and defects of Caius Martius, he is the exact opposite of these types of politicians. The concept of seeming to serve the public to put himself in power is anathema to him. Instead, he shirks a servile representation of himself and displays his character honestly. Martius’ mother instilled in him the belief that to be a good soldier is the same as being a good Roman and this belief left him unable to be a successful politician, ultimately leading to his downfall. …show more content…
Throughout the play there is an open hostility between the tribunes and him. Early on, Martius says of the people, “Five tribunes to defend their vulgar wisdoms, / Of their own choice … / The rabble should have first unroofed the city / Ere so prevailed with me,” (Shakespeare 10). The implication here is clear, that if put into power Martius intends to reduce the powers of the people. To him, the plebeians of Rome are a resource, but they should remain content to be governed rather than aspire to lead

Related Documents