How does Portia convince Brutus to disclose his secret to her? What do you think their relationship is like, built on, and means to Brutus? 

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Portia's persuasiveness depends on the close emotional relationship she and Brutus enjoy in their marriage, and she is able to make Brutus feel guilty for not sharing with her the burden he carries. Portia appears to know Brutus well enough to know when he is deeply troubled, and her insistence...

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Portia's persuasiveness depends on the close emotional relationship she and Brutus enjoy in their marriage, and she is able to make Brutus feel guilty for not sharing with her the burden he carries. Portia appears to know Brutus well enough to know when he is deeply troubled, and her insistence that he talk with her about his problems reflects a closeness in their relationship and the deep concern Portia holds for her husband.

As Portia makes her case and argues her point in support of a true marriage based on trust and open communication, Brutus feels the emotional pressure: "O ye gods,/Render me worthy of this noble wife!" he exclaims. Brutus understands his wife's position, and he honors her role and her worry as well as their marriage, and he knows that he is doing her wrong by withholding the secret. This exclamation reveals that Brutus is just as attached to Portia as she is to him; her pressuring him to tell her about his problems is hard on Brutus, as is holding the secret and keeping it from Portia in the first place.

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Several Roman senators are plotting to kill Julius Caesar. They believe that he has too much power and is becoming dangerous. Brutus is asked to participate in the murder plot. He is torn between his friendship with Caesar and his love of Rome. He wants to protect Rome from Caesar’s ambition but doesn’t want to see Caesar killed.

In Act Two, Scene One Brutus is pacing in his garden after speaking with the conspirators. His wife Portia comes out to speak with him. She asks him what is wrong but he does not want to tell her. He says that he is feeling sick. Portia knows he is lying and is upset that Brutus won’t confide in her. She calls on her position as his wife to convince him to confide in her. She insists that marriage is more that just sharing meals and a bed. It is about sharing confidences. If he refuses to speak to her she might as well be a harlot because he is denying her the prime component of marriage.

This shows that Brutus and Portia’s marriage has been one of companionship and trust. She is used to him sharing his thoughts and feelings with her and is upset when he stops. She is not content just to keep his house; she wants a relationship with the man she married.

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