Women in Caesar

Topics: Julius Caesar, Augustus, Roman Republic Pages: 1 (425 words) Published: April 2, 2007
In the play "Julius Caesar" by William Shakespeare, women play an important role. The women are important factors in foreshadowing and in the development of many of the characters. In the play there are only two women both of which are the wives of key characters. Calpurnia is the wife of Caesar, and Portia, the wife of Brutus. Their role in the play gives the audience a sense of their husband's private personality and foreshadows the events to come. One example is when Caesar's wife Calpurnia foreshadows the death of her husband. On the morning of the ides of March she warns him to stay at home and not attend the capitol. This is because of the many unnatural events that have taken place the night before and because she has had nightmares about his assassination (39). In this scene he first agrees to not go for his wife's sake and does not feel the need to give a reason until Decius enters (40). Then changes his mind when he realizes the public may decide not to offer the crown on another day (41). This scene was important in foreshadowing Caesar's death and showing how overconfident Caesar is, and although Calpurnia's warning was only one of many she seems to be the only warning with real impact, that is until Decius Brutus comes in to play and translates the omen as something good. Another example would be the character of Portia, Brutus's wife. Portia attempts to see if Caesar is at the capitol and she sends Lucius to the capitol to make sure everything is fine. She is telling Lucius that she heard a loud noise coming from the capitol that almost sounded like a riot. This foreshadows the riot that is going to break out after the Romans find out about Caesar's death (44). Then when Brutus tells Cassius that Portia has killed herself by "swallowing fire." He tells Cassius that "no man bears better sorrow" (81). It is in this way that Portia dies that demonstrates the power Octavius and Mark Antony now posses, thus foreshadowing the severity of the upcoming...
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