Last year, we had read one of Shakespeare’s famous plays, Julius Caesar, and I have to admit, I rather enjoyed it. One of the things that I found really significant in the novel were all the different types of relationships between all the different characters.
There are several relationships in “Julius Caesar”, and not all, but several of them are amazing, but the best, in my opinion, is Brutus and Portia’s. Relationships are something that should not be taken lightly, for they are very powerful and carry a great weight. Friendship is a very strong relationship, but there is a relationship that is stronger, still- the relationship between a husband and wife. Relationships are what will increase the good in a person, and decrease the bad. The closest people in one’s life are the ones who enjoy the other’s happiness, and feel the other’s pain. Bonds play an extremely large role in our lives. No relationship is ever weak, but there are some that are simply stronger than others, and have more of an effect on an individual’s life. In Brutus’s life, his two strongest relationships are that with his wife, Portia, his friendship with Cassius, but overall, I think his relationship with Portia is stronger.
Brutus and Portia’s relationship play a big role in the play. In act II, scene I, while Brutus and Portia are having a very important discussion, one would have to be blind not to see the love they share. Even when they are having troubles, they still speak to one another with the utmost care and respect. Their voices are filled with such kindness and concern for the other. Portia especially. In that scene, Portia expresses her concern for her husband. She tells him that she trusts him, and that she wants him to know that he can trust her as well, “Within the bond of marriage, tell me Brutus,/ Is it expected that I should know no secrets/ That appertain to you? Am I yourself/ But, as it were, as in sort or limitation,/ To keep you at meals, comfort your bed,/ And talk to you sometimes” (II, i, 280-285). She tells him that she is not only there make his meals, but also to support, and help him. Brutus also loves her, emotionally and physically, and thinks of her as a wonderful wife, which he also expresses in the same scene, as he says, “You are my true, honourable wife.” (II, i, 288). In this scene he tells her that she is an amazing wife.
Friendship and political alliances are two very different things, and what Brutus has with Cassius is, in my eyes, a friendship. One could tell by how kind they are to each other. You can see that Cassius cares deeply about Brutus. Even when asking Brutus why he had been so distant, he uses such sweet words, “Brutus, I do observe you now of late;/ I have not from your eyes that gentleness/ And show of love as I wont to have;/ You bear too stubborn and too strange a hand/ Over your friend that loves you.” (I, ii, 32-36). In these lines, he actually tells Brutus that he is a friend of his who loves him dearly. Cassius also tries to be a mirror for Brutus, trying to tell Brutus to see the best in himself through him. As he says, “And since you know you cannot see yourself/ So well as by reflection, I, your glass,/ Will modestly discover to yourself/ Which you know not of.” (I, ii, 67-70). In this, Cassius tells Brutus that he will find things in him that Brutus did not even know of. Cassius knows that Brutus loves him, but he also knows that he cannot take all of Brutus’s love. As he says, “Fill, Lucius, till the wine o’erwell the cup;/ I cannot drink too much of Brutus’ love.” (IV, iii, 160-161). And you can also see that Brutus loves Cassius. Another example of their love is when they were about to go into battle, Brutus had a feeling that they would not see each other again, so he said his farewell at that moment. However, he did also say that if they were to meet again, it would be with kind, warm smiles. They would embrace each other. So it is clearly evident that Cassius holds a strong love for Brutus.
Brutus is a greatly loved character, who had strong relationships with many people. In my opinion, his two strongest bonds are with Portia and Cassius. With Portia, she expresses to him that she does, indeed love him. Infact, she loves him more than words, and to prove to her husband that he could trust her, she cuts herself. She physically showed him how much he means to her. As she pleads, “Giving myself a voluntary wound/ Here in the thigh: can I bear that with patience,/ And not my husband’s secrets?” (II, i, 300-303). Here she shows him that if she can bear the burden of an agonizing wound, she could also bear the burden of her husband’s secrets. Brutus responds to this by saying “Oh ye gods, render me worthy of this noble wife.” (II, i, 304-305). He shows that he cares for her so much, that he does not think he deserves her, and it is that thought that proves that they have a strong relationship. She is very careful around him and she always worries about her husband’s well being. When she woke up at night and saw that Brutus was not there, she went up to him, worried, and asked him if he was well. With Cassius, he also has a very strong bond. When he and Cassius fight, you can tell that he regrets it, and wants to get rid of the arguments and disagreements, “Speak no more of her. Give me a bowl of wine./ In this I bury all unkindness, Cassius.” (IV, III, 158-159). He tells Cassius that as he wants to obliterate any rudeness they had towards each other. Also, in this same scene, while they were arguing, Cassius had held out his knife, wanting to die, since he had lost his friend/ally. Not to mention in act V, scene III, I think Cassius made the ultimate sacrifice. He had thought that Brutus had died, so he killed himself, not wanting to live any longer. But even with all of this, his relationship with Portia is still stronger, because she was not only his wife, but also a friend to him, far before Cassius and Brutus formed their friendship/political alliance.
To be friends is a beautiful thing and also very powerful, but nothing seems to compare to the marital relationship. Brutus and Cassius are great friends, but nothing even comes close to what Brutus had with Portia. Both Portia and Cassius had their own ways of showing their affections for Brutus, but overall, what Portia does for Brutus far outweighs anything anyone else could do for him, not because she does more, but because she is his wife. Also, when she killed herself, not that that is good, but she did it because her husband had left her on her own and she could not cope with it. Although the marital relationship is one very strong, one must never underestimate friendship.