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Julius Caesar

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The Greek philosopher, Aristotle, defined the “Tragic Hero” — his idea of a tragedy’s main character. The Tragic Hero has good intentions, but his own actions result in his downfall. The hero is usually male, of noble birth, and may have supernatural experiences. Although he may not initially fully comprehend the consequences of his choices, he eventually understand their contributions to his doom. There are characters in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar who may fit some of these characteristics. Caesar is unexpectedly killed by senators for his political approach when he assumed he was serving Rome. Antony loses his dear comrade and friend, Caesar, and tries to avenge him, but his efforts are in vain. Caesar and Antony do not meet Aristotle’s definition of the Tragic Hero in full context. However, Brutus clearly represents Aristotle’s Tragic Hero as his intentions for killing Julius Caesar were to protect the empire he loved. and brought upon him personal destruction. Brutus murdered Caesar with honorable purpose so that the Roman people would not “die all slaves”, but “live [as] freemen” (117). Caesar’s death was believed to be in the best interest of Rome and a necessary loss to the empire. Brutus did not seek glory or power, but stability for Rome (unlike most of the conspirators). The Tragic Hero makes an ethical decision, in which the repercussion of his choice was the bringing forth of his own downfall. Brutus did not seek glory and power because he was dissatisfied with his life — he sought to protect the place he loved. He already held a noble status, and was married to a “true and honorable wife” (71). He had no need to stir up the empire and his own personal life, but he felt obligated to protect the country and i... ... middle of paper ... ...not theirs to fight. It is essential that the Tragic Hero accepts his necessary doom. It completes the hero. “I know my hour is come...Farewell to thee...I shall have glory by this losing day” (205). Brutus symbolizes the Tragic Hero in Julius Caesar on various aspects and levels. He chose to kill Caesar with honor, and did not corrupt his actions with greed and hunger. He did not stray from his true purpose like the other conspirators. Brutus also fulfilled many trivial components of the Tragic Hero such as being of noble birth and having supernatural encounters. Lastly, Brutus realized his downfall at the end of the novel by asking for his death in honor of Caesar. He understood that his death was nigh and accepted it. “If then that friend demand why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my answer: not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more” (117).
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