In our scene Portia presents the classic wife, worrying for her husband’s health of body and of mind. This is the first and only time that Portia is seen in Julius Ceasar. This is pretty important, because it doesn’t allow our view of her to change, therefore, everything she says can be taken at face value. We first hear of her saying “Brutus, my lord!” Which shows the interesting factor of subservience of women, in Ancient Roman times. Portia, in her next line, which is basically a monologue, proceeds to ask Brutus what is wrong with him. “Make me acquainted with your cause of grief.” This extremely long monologue is a good way of showing Shakespeare’s “above the iceberg” writing style. She is somewhat offended that Brutus seems to have put her off in the past couple of days when she asked what was troubling him. “And when I ask’d you what the matter was,” … “But, with an angry wafture of your hand, gave me sign to leave you, so I did.” Cleary she is mad that she isn’t being told of Brutus’s problem. Like any wife, when she feels that she isn’t being kept fully in the flow of things, she brings up the marriage thing. “Within the bond of marriage, Brutus, tell me.” Then naturally if she doesn’t get what she wants she gets all offended. “Portia is Brutus’s harlot, not his wife.” She also shows that she is very devoted to Brutus by stabbing her thigh and not getting any treatment to show that she could keep a secret. “Giving myself a voluntary wound. Here, in the thigh: can I bear that with patience.” Overall I have a positive view of Portia. She is a devoted wife, who expects to be included in her partners life, like any good spouse. Plus she proves that she can hold Brutus’s secrets with the thigh thing. Unfortunately, we hear about her killing herself later in the play.
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