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Mistakes and Murder

Good Essays
William Shakespeare presents us with a prominent example of a tragic hero in his play The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. Because they experience misfortune and loss, tragic heroes fall from a high status to a low, pitiful existence. This fall is brought about through mistakes and flaws in their own character. Brutus is one of the tragic heroes appearing in this work of literature. He begins as a popular senator in Rome’s democracy who plots to overthrow is superior. Because of the murder of Caesar he begins a journey to a downfall of his own creation. His poor judgment and mistakes, tragic loss of wife and home, and lack of reaching goals, lead to enlightenment and ultimately his tragic death.

A tragic hero must have a flaw that will eventually lead to their own demise. Brutus’ flaw is poor judgment of people’s character and intentions. He believes that he sees what the people cannot. He is blinded by his abhorrence for monarchy which he believes Caesar’s path will lead to. This hatred creates flawed logic and leads to many more mistakes on his part. “I do fear the people choose Caesar for their king” (892). He justifies his actions and decisions in his own mind, without providing proof. He believes that Caesar is ambitious, but can show no evidence. “And therefore think him as a serpent’s egg which hatched, would as his kind grow mischievous and kill him in the shell” (911). Another fatal mistake in Brutus’ premeditated plan was allowing Antony to live. “And for Mark Antony, think not of him; For he can do no more than Caesar’s arm when Caesar’s head is off” (916). Brutus’ main flaw was his lack of judgment in making critical decisions for those implicated with the conspiracy. He believes it is best to leave Anton...

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... His cause seems honorable, but as murder and loss twist his judgment, we begin to see that he was mistaken. His misjudgments have led to the downfall of Rome, creating the monarchy he had wished to prevent. For a period of time, he may have delayed the downfall of democracy in Rome, but he did not prevent it.

Brutus’ mistakes led to the end of a democratic system and the beginning of a long reign of dictatorship and monarchy. He receives enlightenment and commits suicide because of his own poor judgment and self-inflicted blindness, the deaths of wife and country, and the ineffectiveness of his own choices and loss of sympathetic attributes. By bringing about his own downfall, Brutus’ has proved to be an exemplary tragic hero in William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Julius Caesar.

Works Cited

Elements of Literature. Orlando: Holt, Winston, Rinehart, 2007.
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