julius caesarYou really only have to view two women in this play, Calpurnia and Portia. Although they go about their roles in very different ways, they both serve the same purpose: to support the actions of their husbands.
Calpurnia supports Caesar's best interests by attempting to get him to stay home for the day. Although she can only base her bad feelings on a dream, she feels that it's enough to keep him home and out of danger. Even though she has some interest in Caesar's possible motive in obtaining a throne, his health and well being are first and foremost in her mind.
Portia is also placing Brutus at the front of her mind, but in a very different manner. She chooses to give blind support to whatever cause Brutus is involved in. There is the great scene where she kneels in front of him and gives herself a voluntary wound in the thigh, but more importantly than that, she sends their servant to the Capitol to tell Brutus she is well that day. This is her way of giving absolute and undeniable support to Brutus's ventures. Portia suspects that something foul is up, but believes that Brutus is acting in his and Rome's best interest, so she chooses to not interfere.
The portrayal of these two women would have been very indicative of Shakespeare's England. It was the woman's job to stand in the shadows and support the actions of her husband, to keep his best interests in mind regardless of her own feelings.
Both women in the play, Calpurnia (Caesar's wife) and Portia (Brutus' wife) help to move the plot along. Calpurnia does this with her dream and her begging Caesar to stay at home instead of going to the Senate. She helps to bring forth the theme of superstition and the paranormal--seeing the future in dreams.
Portia represents a much stronger woman in my eyes. She tells Brutus that she is not just a woman, but his partner in all he does. She recognizes that he is troubled and begs him to share the trouble with her so that she could...