Power to the Women
Reading Julius Caesar by Shakespeare through a feminist lens is very frustrating. He has characters compare each other to women in negative ways and makes the women seem insignificant. However, he did add a couple characters that were pro-feminist because of the way they were portrayed. The characters Calpurnia and Portia are both portrayed in Julius Caesar as strong and powerful women because of the skills they possess that other characters in the book do not.
Both Calpurnia and Portia have a great impacts on their husbands’ lives in ways that many people simply ignore while reading the book. Brutus's wife Portia, when no one was around, “swallowed fire” and killed herself (Shakespeare 61). Putting coals in her mouth and killing herself caused Brutus to grieve on the inside even more than he already had been. In addition to losing his comrade, he also lost the one person in his life who was supposed to always be at his side no matter what. Moreover, before Caesar was killed, Calpurnia told Caesar she had a dream that "recounts most horrid sites seen by the watch" (Shakespeare 29). Caesar took more precautions after hearing this. He later went and talked to a soothsayer about the matter. Certainly, both these women have the power to impact their husbands greatly because of their abilities to alter their husbands’ lives in a very short amount of time.
Both the women in the book both have control over their husbands in because of their abilities to persuade the men easily. Portia was worried about Brutus and made him tell her the plan to kill Caesar. Brutus told her the plan because he loved her and didn't want to lose her. She was able to persuade Brutus to tell her because she knew if she pushed him hard enough, he would eventually give in. Furthermore, on the Ides of March, Calpurnia begged Caesar to stay home and to "send Mark Antony to the senate-house" (Shakespeare 30). Since he loved her, Caesar changed his mind and agreed to stay....