The Women in the Plays: Similar or Different?

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William Shakespeare contributed many great plays to the history of literature, two of which include Macbeth and Julius Caesar. Macbeth tells the story of an ambitious lord, Macbeth, becoming corrupted after murdering the previous king and several of his friends. Similarly, in Julius Caesar, the conspirators murder the hero of Rome, Julius Caesar, because of their fear and jealousy of his rising power. The two stories both feature female characters moving the plot along and/or foreshadowing future events. Lady Macbeth, Macbeth’s wife, takes part in the murder of King Duncan and Portia, Brutus’s wife, and Calpurnia, Caesar’s wife, because of their worries for their husbands both tries to confront them in their own way. William Shakespeare structures the women in his play very differently from the women during his time. There are many differences between Lady Macbeth, Calpurnia, and Portia, but at the same time there are also many similarities between the three.

The Lady Macbeth from the beginning of the play seems remarkably similar to Portia in that they’re both strong-willed women ahead of their own time unlike Calpurnia. Lady Macbeth wishes herself to be a man, “Come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe top-full of direst cruelty…” (Macbeth 1.5.30-44). Lady Macbeth is very different from the typical woman at the time. Her focus is now set on murdering King Duncan Lady Macbeth’s real personality begins revealing itself through this quote; instead of a kind and loving woman her character seems vile and demonic. It’s clear that she’s determined to make Macbeth’s prophecy come true by any means necessary. Her willingness in this matter is another reason for her str...

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...nly reason was her fear for his safety and well-being. She’s portray as a very kind and caring person; the complete opposite of Lady Macbeth’s ambitious personality. While they’re all great women, Portia and Calpurnia are portray as kind and gentle women while Lady Macbeth is portray as man-like and immoral.

Lady Macbeth, Calpurnia, and Portia are all great female characters from Shakespeare’s plays. The characters all appear in different plays under different settings and situations but they have many similar qualities as well as different qualities. Calpurnia, who has a timid and obedience nature, set her apart from Lady Macbeth and Portia. Lady Macbeth and Portia are very similar in the sense that they’re both great women who lost their sense of reasoning until ultimately committing suicide. They also represent a very big theme throughout society.
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