How does Shakespeare portray Calpurnia and Portia in the play Julius Caesar?

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Calpurnia and Portia are portrayed as strong and passionate women who supported their men.

Shakespeare takes advantage of the Romans' superstitious nature by playing up the supposed supernatural abilities of both Calpurnia and Portia.  Caesar’s wife Calpurnia supposedly had a dream predicting his assassination, and Portia seemed to know that Brutus was in danger.

Brutus’s wife Portia is shown as a strong and confident woman, but possibly also a little unstable.  She worries about her husband’s role in the conspiracy.  She does not really know what is going on, but wants him to tell her what he is doing.

Yet I insisted, yet you answer'd not,
But, with an angry wafture of your hand,
Gave sign for me to leave you: so I did;
Fearing to strengthen that impatience
Which seem'd too much enkindled… (Act 2, Scene 1)

Portia worries about her husband, feeling that he might have gotten himself in a dangerous situation.  She urges him to tell her what is going on, chiding him that he is treating her like a “harlot” rather than a wife.  She can't stand being out of the loop, even cutting herself to prove her loyalty and dedication to him.

When Brutus does not tell her what is going on, Portia has him followed.  She reminds us that women are not just meek watchers from the sidelines.

O constancy, be strong upon my side,
Set a huge mountain 'tween my heart and tongue!
I have a man's mind, but a woman's might.
How hard it is for women to keep counsel! (Act 2, Scene 4)

Portia speaks to the soothsayer, trying to find out what is really going on and...

(The entire section contains 544 words.)

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