In Julius Caesar, what does Brutus’s relationship with Portia and Caesar’s relationship with Calpurnia reveal each man’s character?
In act 1, scene 2, Caesar’s first words, in front of a large assembly of people which includes both Brutus and Portia, are to order Calpurnia to stand “directly in Antonius’s way.” He then commands Antony:
Forget not, in your speed, Antonius,
To touch Calpurnia; for our elders say,
The barren, touched in this holy chase,
Shake off their sterile curse.
Caesar treats both his wife and his friend as servants bound to do his bidding. He subordinates all other concerns, including Calpurnia’s feelings and her modesty, to his superstitious ideas about a cure for her barrenness. His only other interaction with her, in act 2, scene 2, is equally concerned with superstition. Here, Caesar shows his indecisiveness, changing his mind several times about whether he will go out...
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