Essay The Women in the Plays: Similar or Different?

1352 Words 6 Pages
William Shakespeare contributed many great plays to the history of literature, two of which include Macbeth and Julius Caesar. Macbeth tells the story of an ambitious lord, Macbeth, becoming corrupted after murdering the previous king and several of his friends. Similarly, in Julius Caesar, the conspirators murder the hero of Rome, Julius Caesar, because of their fear and jealousy of his rising power. The two stories both feature female characters moving the plot along and/or foreshadowing future events. Lady Macbeth, Macbeth’s wife, takes part in the murder of King Duncan and Portia, Brutus’s wife, and Calpurnia, Caesar’s wife, because of their worries for their husbands both tries to confront them in their own way. William Shakespeare …show more content…
Within the bond of marriage, tell me, Brutus, is it excepted I should know no secrets that appertain to you…” (Julius Caesar 2.1.288-296). Like Lady Macbeth, Portia is also not a typical woman from her time, in fact she believes she deserves to know what’s wrong with her husband. In Ancient Rome women were weak and seen as merely property with almost no personal right. Portia talks to her husband more as an equal. She questions Brutus on his strange behavior and refuses to let him dismisses her question. Calpurnia tries to convince Caesar to stay home on the March 15th, “ Alas, my lord, your wisdom is consumed in confidence. Do not go forth today. Call it my fear that keeps you in the house, and not your own. We’ll send Mark Antony to the senate house, and he shall say you are not well today. (kneels) Let me, upon my knee, prevail in this” (Julius Caesar 2.2.49-54). Unlike Lady Macbeth and Portia, Calpurnia acts and behaves like a stereotypical woman from her time. Calpurnia is desperate in trying to prevent her husband from going because of the warning from her dream, but she can’t really speak up due to her nature as a woman. Caesar listens to his wife at first but Decius convinces him to go in the end. Calpurnia is too obedience to Caesar and doesn’t stand up for herself. As a result, Lady Macbeth and Portia’s determination set them apart from Calpurnia’s obedience nature.

Lady Macbeth and Portia further resemble each other in that they were

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