Julius Caesar

by: William Shakespeare

Calpurnia

Characters Calpurnia

As Caesar’s wife, Calpurnia is part of the chorus of characters who repeatedly warn Caesar that various signs and omens suggest that he is in great danger. Calpurnia is the only character who can make Caesar heed these warnings—if only momentarily—when she begs Caesar to stay home. She tells Caesar about her prophetic dream where Caesar’s statue ran with blood, which correctly predicts what will happen when Caesar goes to the Senate and is stabbed by the conspirators. Caesar agrees to pretend to be sick, saying “…for thy humour I will stay at home.” Caesar seems to genuinely value his wife and respect her opinions. While Caesar comes across as a somewhat distant character, his relationship with Calpurnia humanizes him. Calpurnia stands as a contrast to Portia, who also begs her husband Brutus not to go out, but with much less effect. In both instances, the wives are correct, and their husbands’ decisions to ignore their warnings ultimately lead to both men’s deaths. Only Calpurnia can briefly derail this inevitable fate.