What contributions to Julius Ceasar are made by Calpurnia and Portia?i dont get why these 2 female characters are significant, please explain... thanks

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afi80fl eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Calpurnia is significant in that she believes the superstitions going on around her.  She admonishes Caesar not to go out, as she had a horrible dream of his statue pouring blood in a fountain, while the people gathered around washing their hands in it.  Caesar, ever resolute, tells her that she has misinterpreted the dream; it represents him pouring out himself, or very blood, in caring for the people of Rome.  Also, when the magicians say that upon sacrificing a beast for answers that they have found no heart within it, Calpurnia warns Caesar not to go to the Senate.  Instead, he says that it symbolizes him having no heart or courage if he stays home in fear rather than going to the Senate.

Portia is an interesting character in that she tries to prove her manliness, for lack of better words.  When she infers that Brutus is part of a secret conspiracy, she begs him to tell her about it.  He refuses, and to prove her ability to withstand the burden or pain of such a heavy secret, she stabs herself in the thigh.  He agrees to tell her later.  However, toward the end of the play, she cannot deal with the pressure of knowing what's going on, and swallows coals to kill herself. 

For these reasons, I think you have a couple of interesting characters :)

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Julius Caesar

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