Cortana is a woman.
She is an A.I. Not a human.
Cortana is a clone of Dr. Halsey. But, she is not Halsey. Cortana is her own separate being.
All of these aspects of Cortana’s character form the Cortana that we fans know and love.
But, I can’t help but feel that there is a deeper meaning to it all: That there is more to Cortana than her body, her gender, her temperament, her desire to be human, or that she is an A.I.
I look at Cortana, and I don’t see a fictional character. I see a human being. I see someone I can empathize with, someone I can learn from, someone who is mysterious. Someone who is not human, yet is more human than any human character that I have seen not just in Halo, but in fiction in general.
The reasons I see Cortana this way:
1) Because Cortana is a woman, and women are awesome.
2) Because of how Cortana is portrayed in Halo 4. I was invested in her character. Halo 4 did what every story is supposed to do: It made me care.
3) Because Cortana is an A.I., and A.I. fascinate me.