Julius Caesar Gender Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
For once, upon a raw and gusty day,The troubled Tiber chafing with her shores,Caesar said to me 'Darest thou, Cassius, nowLeap in with me into this angry flood,And swim to yonder point?' Upon the word,Accoutred as I was, I plunged inAnd bade him follow; so indeed he did.The torrent roar'd, and we did buffet itWith lusty sinews, throwing it asideAnd stemming it with hearts of controversy; But ere we could arrive the point proposed,Caesar cried 'Help me, Cassius, or I sink!'I, as Aeneas, our great ancestor,Did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulderThe old Anchises bear, so from the waves of TiberDid I the tired Caesar. And this manIs now become a god, and Cassius isA wretched creature and must bend his body,If Caesar carelessly but nod on him. (1.2.9)
There's nothing like a little (un)friendly male competition, is there? Here, Cassius tells Brutus the story of how Caesar, as a young boy, challenged him to swim across the Tiber River, where Caesar's show of masculine bravado nearly cost him his life.
Alas, it cried 'Give me some drink, Titinius,'As a sick girl. Ye gods, it doth amaze meA man of such a feeble temper shouldSo get the start of the majestic worldAnd bear the palm alone. (1.2.9)
In order to undermine Caesar's power and authority as a Roman leader, Cassius relates a story about how Caesar once fell ill and begged for water "like a sick girl." Apparently, for these Romans, becoming sick or "feeble" and showing signs of weakness compromise one's masculinity and ability to rule.
CASSIUS Let it be who it is: for Romans nowHave thews and limbs like to their ancestors;But, woe the while! our fathers' minds are dead,And we are govern'd with our mothers' spirits;Our yoke and sufferance show us womanish. (1.3.6)
Hmm. We seem to be detecting a pattern here. In the last passage, Cassius equated Caesar's illness with "girliness." Here, he claims that "the yoke" of Caesar's tyranny has turned all the Roman men into "womanish" mama's boys.