The role of Women in Julius Ceasar Essay

This essay has a total of 901 words and 4 pages.


The role of Women in Julius Ceasar





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. To look at the role of women in the play we must look deeper in to the
roles of the only two women in the play; Calpurnia, wife of Caesar, and Portia, wife of
Brutus. Both of these women are key in foreshadowing the murder of Caesar. After
Caesar’s murder we do not hear much of either of them.

The main thing Caesar’s wife, Calpurnia does in the play is tell Caesar to stay at
home on the day of his murder because of many unnatural events that have taken place the
night before and because she has had nightmares about his assassination. On the morning
of the ides of march is the first time we meet Calpurnia, her entrance is act 2 scene one
when she tells Caesar “You shall not stir out of your house today.” Caesar
decides he shall “forth” until Calpurnia tells him why he shouldn’t go
to the capitol today. Some of the reasons she included were:

A lioness “whelped” in the streets.
Graves opened and showed their dead people.
Warriors of fire fought on the clouds and drizzled blood upon the capitol.
Horses neighed and dead men groaned.
Ghosts shrieked in the streets.
She than showed her discomfort with these things by saying ”O Caesar, these things
are beyond all use, / and I do fear them.” Caesar says these are just as much to
him as to the world in general, but Calpurnia insists that when beggars die nothing
happens, but when princes die the heavens are ablaze. Caesar says that cowards die many
times before their death and death will come when it will come. Then Caesar asked a
servant what the augurers say about the subject and they say they found no heart within
the beast. This is a simple act of showing how superstitious Caesar is sends him in to a
rage and he decides he will go to the capitol. Then Calpurnia (the voice of reason) says
“your wisdom is consumed in confidence” and tells him to tell them it is her
fear and not his own that keeps him from the capitol. And Caesar grudgingly agrees. Then
Decius Brutus comes in and ruins the whole thing by telling Caesar that her dream was
telling how great he is and Decius manages to flatter Caesar enough that he decides to go
to the capitol and he tells Calpurnia how foolish her dreams seem now and he leaves.
Calpurnia, as we know was right the whole time and Caesar gets assassinated at the
capitol. 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.
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