Tension: The Argument
In this instance, she is acting a lot like Guts is a threat to her or her influence within the Band of the Hawk. By constantly criticizing him, she is attempting to keep him small, make him feel insignificant – which, funnily enough, only makes him try harder. She is also resisting Corkus’ attempts to convince her to get rid of Guts, because a scheming, backstabbing traitor is simply not who she is.
Fast forward three years and the banter between them hasn’t changed much.
Casca is still jealous and envious, always criticizing Guts harshly. They are both extremely stubborn which shows very well during the argument after Guts rode alone on horseback taking on enemy heavy cavalry all by himself.
Note Guts’ body language here: he is holding his head high (= not giving in), but at the same time he is trying to avoid conflict by turning away from her after she grabbed him by the cape. The moment she is calling him a mere mad dog is where he snapped at her, grabbing her hand in anger.
Towards Griffith, Guts states that he does care for his men unlike three years ago and you see him taking care his unit directly after this too (he does care for people more than you think) – but this topic is covered in another post.
Fascinating about this is that both Guts and Casca appear to be two very touchy people.
And we still have a Corkus here trying to talk to Casca getting rid of Guts, and she just makes him trip and fall as a response.
What is also noteworthy about Casca’s characterization is that she is taking the entire argument into private, instead of humiliating Guts in front of everyone – it’s as if she still respects him in some way, despite of her harsh criticism.