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Unsuccessful Influential Wives Essay

1067 words - 5 pages

The wives in Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare, play key roles in this play. In Shakespeare's tragedies, plentiful amounts of people die. The wives’ influence could have prevented their husbands’ deaths. Due to Caesar’s persuasion by a fellow servant, and Brutus’ persuasion from a fellow friend, their wives do not influence them, which leads them to their deaths. They are supportive of their husbands. Julius Caesar married Calphurnia. Brutus married Portia. Both wives of these two men try to influence their husbands. Influencing their husbands in different ways, both are not completely successful. Calphurnia tries to warn Caesar to stay away from the capitol on the ides of March due to ...view middle of the document...

For Caesar thinks these signs can be intended for anyone. He believes that no one can escape what the Gods have ordered to happen. Calphurnia gets on her knees and begs Caesar to stay. Eventually, he says he will stay home to please his wife.
It seems as if Calphurnia was successful by influencing Caesar to stay, but Decius, a conspirator to Caesar’s murder, assures Caesar that nothing will happen, making Calphurnia’s influence unsuccessful. Decius changes the meaning of the dream. Decius Brutus says, “This dream is all amiss interpreted; it was a vision fair and fortunate” (81 Shakespeare). He convinces Caesar that the dream represents how great and powerful Caesar is, and he shouldn’t fear Calphurnia’s bad dream. Persuaded by Decius, Caesar goes to the Senate.
Although Portia is more powerful and courageous than Calphurnia, she is also unsuccessful when trying to influence her husband. Portia wants to know what Brutus plans are. She wants her husband, Brutus, to tell her his plans that burden him. She believes that her husband does not trust or think she is worthy enough to know what her husband is up to. Portia says, “Think you I am no stronger than my sex, being so fathered and so husbanded?” (71 Shakespeare) Portia thinks that she is not able to know because she is a female. Portia has a noble husband and father and because she is not a man that should not affect the confidence he has in her. She kneels and begs Brutus to tell her his secrets. She then stands and stabs her leg proving how strong she really is. Brutus acknowledges her strength, but still does not tell his secrets.
Portia’s influence is more obviously unsuccessful than Calphurnia’s. Not only does Brutus not reveal his secrets to his wife, he is risking his life. When the war is occurring, Brutus dies. He dies because he thinks that they have lost the war and he doesn’t want to live. He dies honorably. He pushes himself into the knife his friend is holding while holding his friend’s other hand. Brutus’ friend...

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