The play, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare, has two main tragic heroes. Set in Rome and spanning from forty- four to forty-two B.C., the play tells of Brutus and Caesar whom both fall from the highest positions to the lowest of misfortune and then are enlightened on their mistakes. Brutus is the stronger example of a tragic hero in this story. Throughout this play, Brutus commits many faults, falls more drastically than all other characters, and regrets his previous actions by the end of the play.
Brutus commits three costly mistakes during the play. The first mistake that he makes is that he participates in the assassination of Julius Caesar. “People, and senators, be not affrighted. /Fly not; stand still; ambition’s debt is paid”(938). In doing this, Brutus does just the opposite of what he set out to do which is to protect Rome from the ambition of humans. This action also perpetually gives him the name of a traitor. The second and most important mistake that Brutus makes is that he allows Antony to speak at Caesar’s funeral. “And you shall speak in the same pulpit whereto I am going /After my speech is ended”(945). Not only does Brutus allow Mark Antony to speak after Cassius tells him not to let him have such a right, but he gives him the better time to do it as well. Speaking second is more strategic than first because of the fact that the man or woman that speaks second is delivering the speech that the audience will remember. The citizens most likely will not remember Brutus’s meager speech that is soon disregarded after Antony begins to speak. This act of arrogance is actually the backbone to the downfall of Brutus. The third mistake that Brutus makes is tha...
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...al one with his last action. Unfortunately, the audience does not know whether or not he regrets committing suicide. Had he not done so, Antony most likely would have restored some of his stature in Rome, and granted him his life, “This was the noblest Roman of them all. / All the conspirators save only he / Did that they did in envy of great Caesar; / He, only in a general honest thought / And common good to all, made one of them”(998). It is clear that Antony is saddened by the loss of Brutus, because he realizes the true meaning of Brutus’s actions.
In conclusion, Brutus is the tragic hero in this play because of the mistakes that he makes, the fall that he takes, and the regrets that he feels after. Brutus will forever be labeled as a traitor, but in the end he is truly sorry for the mistakes that he makes. Because of this, Brutus is the tragic hero.
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