In Act Two of Julius Caesar, the reader was introduced to the characters of Portia and Calpurnia. They were similar in many ways.
Portia was the wife of Brutus. She noticed that there was something the matter with Brutus when he uncharacteristically awoke very early in the morning. She asked him what was bothering him but her question was only answered by a glare. She continued her questioning and insisted that he tell her what was troubling him. He told her that he was only feeling ill and that she should go back to sleep. Portia saw through this lie and knew that something important was keeping him up but she also noticed that her questions were making him angry so she calmed the conversation down. She begged him to give her the truth of why he was up that morning and to try to prove that she was worthy she pierced her thigh and drew her own blood. This still did not get him to tell her his secret. Portia proved she was determined by not giving up without pressing for him to tell her. She also proved that she was loving by expressing her concern for her husband and offering herself as a person for him to vent his problems out to even though he refused to use her as it. She was also understanding by knowing that Brutus was getting angry and not doing anything to make him angrier. She proved her strength and devotion by piercing her thigh and not expressing her pain. Portia was also a stoic because she did not show much emotion and she also did not express pain. She was a role model for women because she attempted to make her status with Brutus more equal have the relationship of husband and wife more close and together. She was much ahead of her time because women were not considered men’s equals until the 20th century.
Calpurnia was the wife of Caesar. She ordered Caesar to stay home and not go to a Senate meeting that was that day. She stated that she had seen war, blood, and ghosts in her dream and she interpreted that as being a bad sign. She also felt that the dream meant that something was going to happen that day and that Caesar should not leave the house for if he did, he would be in danger. Caesar did not want to stay but she assured him Marc Antony would announce at the meeting that he was ill and unable to attend. They would not know why he did not go and he could rest easy at home. This did convince him to stay home but only until Decius arrived and changed Caesar’s mind. She proved that she loved by expressing so much concern for Caesar’s life and offering him the advice. She also was strong because she felt that she could order Caesar around and tell him not to go to the meeting. Calpurnia proved that she was determined by not giving up after Caesar first refused to stay home at her first suggestion.
Although they were in two different situations, the characteristics of Portia and that of Calpurnia were very similar.