How does Brutus react to Portia's concerns and accusations in Julius Caesar?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Brutus cannot sleep because he is grappling with a difficult decision, one that involves life and death, and he wants to shield his wife from his mental torture. Portia tries to force Brutus to confide his troubles, but he refuses to admit that something is wrong. His multiple attempts to...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

Brutus cannot sleep because he is grappling with a difficult decision, one that involves life and death, and he wants to shield his wife from his mental torture. Portia tries to force Brutus to confide his troubles, but he refuses to admit that something is wrong. His multiple attempts to lie to Portia compel her to accuse him of not loving her or considering her to be important.

Brutus becomes saddened and asks Portia not to kneel. He considers her his equal and he does not want her to lower herself. He is shocked and distraught when she says she is no more than a prostitute if he cannot confide in her. He tells her she is important to him, and he professes his sincere love for her.

You are
As dear to me as are the ruddy drops
That visit my sad heart.

Brutus means that he cannot live without Portia, for she is as important as the blood that courses through his veins. When she reminds him that she is strong and has even stabbed herself in the thigh to show her commitment, he asks the gods to make him equal and worthy of her. Brutus has great respect and love for his wife. It is imperative to him that she knows how important she is to him.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team