Junius Brutus is an old bearded man named as one of tribunes of the Roman people after the latter’s riots force the establishment of that office.
Disturbed by Coriolanus’s popularity and the likelihood that he will be named Consul, he begins to plot with his fellow tribune Sicinus to bring about Coriolanus’s downfall. He is irritated at the commons’ decision to accept Coriolanus as Consul and rejection of his own advice as how to prevent this. He is duplicitous enough to take the blame for Coriolanus’s nomination. Part of his reason for wishing to be rid of Coriolanus is to demonstrate to the aristocracy that the tribunes possess genuine power. Having made the mistake of banishing Coriolanus rather than killing him, Brutus proves to be a useless, self-satisfied and deluded leader, refusing to face facts when informed that the exiled man is returning with an army to conquer Rome. Reduced to begging his old enemies to plead with Coriolanus, he loses all his popularity and is captured by a mob that threatens to kill him slowly if the attack carries on.