Brutus the Tragic Hero

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Shakespeare’s complex play The Tragedy of Julius Caesar contains several tragic heroes; a tragic hero holds high political or social esteem yet possesses an obvious character flaw. This discernible hubris undoubtedly causes the character’s demise or a severe forfeiture, which forces the character to undergo an unfeigned moment of enlightenment and shear reconciliation. Brutus, one of these tragic heroes, is a devout friend of the great Julius Caesar, that is, until he makes many execrable decisions he will soon regret; he becomes involved in a plot to kill the omniscient ruler of Rome during 44 B.C. After committing the crime, Mark Antony, an avid, passionate follower of Caesar, is left alive under Brutus’s orders to take his revenge on the villains who killed his beloved Caesar. After Antony turns a rioting Rome on him and wages war against him and the conspirators, Brutus falls by his own hand, turning the very sword he slaughtered Caesar with against himself. Brutus is unquestionably the tragic hero in this play because he has an innumerable amount of character flaws, he falls because of these flaws, and then comes to grips with them as he bleeds on the planes of Philippi. Moreover, Brutus is considered a tragic hero first because of his numerous character flaws or hubrises. An example is Brutus’s flawed logic. By even deciding to kill Caesar for what he is ‘going’ to do, yet not by what he has done, Brutus sets himself up for failure. “‘And therefore think him as a serpent’s egg which hatched, would as his kind grow mischievous, and kill him in shell’”(911). Brutus’s reasoning for murdering Caesar in such cold blood is because he is afraid of what he could do or what he could become. However, this is clearly faulty logic, fo... ... middle of paper ... ...ation and well being of a country, people, and republic. “‘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). Although a seemingly menacing traitor to his country at first, Brutus makes the journey to a sympathetic and noble tragic hero in the end. In conclusion, Brutus is a tragic hero in this awe-inspiring play because he is burdened with countless character flaws that engender his inevitable awakening, enlightenment, and death. They also lead to his dramatic change from a despicable fiend, to a loved companion of Rome. Through massive loses, and profound change in character, Brutus is transformed into a kingly tragic hero. Works Cited Elements of Literature. Orlando: Holt, Winston, Rinehart, 2007

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