Study Questions 1 1. In Dubliners Joyce focuses on the restraints that everyday realities impose on important aspects of life, such as relationships. Everyday objects are crucial here because so few of them are present, and the ones that Joyce notes reflect Mr. Almost everything, such as his furniture and his linens, is black or white, and extremely organized.
Julius Caesar is a play about men: In the male-dominated world of ancient Rome, characters have a distinct understanding of what it means to be or act like a man. Women in Julius Caesar represent everything that Roman men are not supposed to be—however, the utter disdain men show for feminine traits eventually proves shortsighted, as the play argues that women and their special gifts are not to be taken lightly.
In Julius Caesar, masculinity implies not only bravery, but also steadfastness. The opposite traits—weakness, fearfulness, and inconstancy—are mainly associated with women. The female characters of Julius Caesar seem to internalize these distinctions as well.
Just as the men perceive the influence of their mothers and fathers as being at odds within their own selves, Portia sees a masculine side of herself competing with her feminine nature.
Similarly, when Portia wishes to claim power for herself, she does so by invoking her male ancestors, inverting the male tendency to blame their undesirable qualities on their female ancestors.
After Brutus refuses to acknowledge that her status as wife earns her the right to share his secrets, she takes a contrary tack and tries to appeal to him as a kind of fellow male. Then, to further prove her emotional and physical strength, she stabs herself in the thigh.
Throughout the play, men swear that they are not afraid to face death or injury; Portia proves her manliness by making good on those boasts.
However, the play does present women as sharing a powerful, characteristically feminine trait: They each exhibit an instinctive type of foresight. The men of Julius Caesar, though powerful, are often caught unawares by their fate.
The play seems to suggest that the same resoluteness the Romans revere as a supreme masculine virtue can become a liability when it turns into inflexibility and imperceptiveness. Calphurnia and Portia both anticipate the dangers ahead. Like animals that sense the arrival of an earthquake, the women seem tuned to a different frequency.
Decius scoffs at her fear, but Calphurnia knows that her dream portends ill luck for Caesar. Later, when she senses the sea change about to take place, she kills herself preemptively. Her suicide, described in mythical, grotesque terms, serves as yet another portent Brutus ignores.
It would be too much to say that Julius Caesar valorizes women, but it does associate them with supernatural prescience. Certainly the play suggests that, if their advice had been followed, their husbands might have avoided some of the calamities that befall them.
But in the end, the female characters in Julius Caesar become collateral damage in the tragedy, unable to escape what they foresee.Introduction 1 Focusing on Background 3 The Life and Work of William Shakespeare () by C. F. Main 3 The Renaissance Theater by C.
F. Main 6 Shakespeare's Plays 9. Julius Caesar and Cleopatra also had a son, Caesarion. Julius Caesar sent for his wife and son to be brought to Rome, with the great surprise of the Roman people.
Out of respect for Julius Caesar, the people did not really give much attention to the fact that Julius Caesar married a foreign woman albeit having a Roman wife (McManus, ). The Purdue Writing Lab Purdue University students, faculty, and staff at our West Lafayette, IN campus may access this area for information on the award-winning Purdue Writing Lab.
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In Julius Caesar, the relationships between Julius Caesar, Marcus Brutus, Mark Antony and Caius Cassius are very important. They show the motivations for the characters’ actions throughout the play.
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Your Eminences, Your Excellencies, Mr. President: On behalf of Mrs. Kennedy, her children, the parents and sisters of Robert Kennedy, I want to express what we feel to those who mourn with us today in this Cathedral and around the world. We loved him as a brother, and as a father, and as a son.