The Role of Women in Julius Caesar Essay

The Role of Women in Julius Caesar Essay

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From the expansion days of Ancient Rome to the fall of the Roman Empire, women have always succumbed to living subjacent to the status of their omnipotent and dominant male figures. After leaving her childhood home and the rule of her father, a young Roman girl would then be coerced into the dominion of her husband, often taking a plethora of roles, ranging from lover, caretaker, and best friend. It is often lightheartedly stated that, “Behind every great man is an even greater woman,” and William Shakespeare exemplifies this concept beautifully in Julius Caesar, in which he effectively used the spouses of the two main characters to add more depth, drama, and literary elements to the play, bringing it to life. Although the only two female characters in Julius Caesar, Portia and Calpurnia do not play a pivotal role in the overall plot of the story, their presence is vital in illuminating and developing the characters of their husbands, Brutus and Caesar. What they reveal about their husbands leads the reader to infer that Portia is the more admirable and redeeming character.
Throughout Shakespeare’s various works, it has been observed that he rarely uses females in his literature, but when he does, he uses them for a distinct purpose, as is evident in Julius Caesar. By defying the societal standards of her gender and showing genuine interest in her husband’s thoughts and feelings, Portia, the wife of Brutus, reveals key aspects of his character while adding depth to the story. For her time, Portia was a woman who both respected herself and took pride in herself, without allowing society to make a mark on her. This is evident when she states, “Think you I am no stronger than my sex/ Being so father'd and so husbanded?" (Port...


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...ed a vital role in the novel was when the fearfully voiced her opinion on whether Caesar should go to the Senate and when she was reported to have had a dream in which she, “…in her sleep cried out, ‘Help, ho! They murder Caesar!’ Who’s within?” (Act 2, ii, 3-4). Foreshadowing the murder of her husband, and begging him to not go out, Calpurnia essentially controlled the fate of Caesar. It is remarkable to think that if Caesar had only listened to his wife, the entire course of the story would have been dramatically different.
With two drastically different relationships with their spouses, analysis of Portia and Calpurnia’s relationships and care for their husbands leads one to see that Portia is the more admirable and redeeming character. Although both couples equally loved each other, the ways in which they reacted and influenced each other differed greatly.

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The Role of Women in Julius Caesar Essay

- From the expansion days of Ancient Rome to the fall of the Roman Empire, women have always succumbed to living subjacent to the status of their omnipotent and dominant male figures. After leaving her childhood home and the rule of her father, a young Roman girl would then be coerced into the dominion of her husband, often taking a plethora of roles, ranging from lover, caretaker, and best friend. It is often lightheartedly stated that, “Behind every great man is an even greater woman,” and William Shakespeare exemplifies this concept beautifully in Julius Caesar, in which he effectively used the spouses of the two main characters to add more depth, drama, and literary elements to the play,...   [tags: Roman Empire, Shakespeare]

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