Theme in Shakepeare’s Julius Caesar
William Shakespeare’s tragedy Julius Caesar attempts to show the reader the theme of gender roles through the use of the literary elements of imagery and point of view. For example, "'Alas,' it cried 'Give me some drink, Titinius' As a sick girl. Ye gods, it doth
amazeme A man of such a feeble temper should So get the start of the majestic world And bear the palm alone" (Shakespeare, 1.2.134-138). For the Romans, being sick and showing signs of weakness jeopardizes one’s ability to rule, so in this quote, Cassius talks about a story which connects Caesar to a “little sick girl,” who begged for water, in order to undermine him. However, women hate the fact that their gender is used as the inferior of the two and wish to be equal to men. This is shown when Portia states, “I grant I am a woman; but withal A woman well-reputed, Cato's daughter. Think you I am no stronger than my sex, Being so
father'dand so husbanded? Tell me your counsels; I will not disclose 'em. I have made strong proof of my constancy, Giving myself a voluntary wound Here, in the thigh. Can I bear that with
patience.And not my husband's secrets?” (Shakespeare, 2.1.215-325) Here, Portia makes the argument that since she’s the daughter and wife of two men, she is greater than the average woman. To prove this, she even voluntarily stabs her leg to show her power and demands respect from her husband.