Tragic Heroes of Rome

Good Essays
The Tragedy of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare has two characters that make a good case for a tragic hero - one being Brutus and the other Caesar. Brutus has the better argument because he falls the farthest. In Shakespeare’s play Brutus and Cassius are best friends. Brutus has a fear that ambition will make him King of Rome, which Rome had not had. Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero is a character of high esteem that has a flaw in logic, which leads to their downfall. While in the process the character is enlightened of their mistakes and after the play is often viewed with pity. The protagonist, Brutus, is the tragic hero because he is easily persuaded, has flawed logic, and falls from high standing.

In Act I, Cassius convinces Brutus to assassinate his friend Julius Caesar. “I am glad that my few words have struck but this much show of fire from Brutus” (894). The few words Cassius speaks gets Brutus’ mind turning. Thus showing how Brutus is easily swayed to make decisions. Another flaw Brutus has is flawed logic. “And therefore think him in serpent’s egg which hatched, would as his kind grow mischievous, and kill him in the shell” (911). Brutus is basically saying let’s kill him before he climbs any higher on the power ladder. This is faulty logic because we cannot clearly discern whether Caesar is going to take the position or not. Brutus also calls Mark Anthony a limb of Caesar. “And for Mark Antony, think not for him; for

Luker 2

he can do no more than Caesar’s arm when Caesar’s head is off” (916). The logic here is that if Caesar is dead, Mark Antony is powerless.

The fall of a tragic hero is a major part in the character’s enlightenment. At the beginning of Act I, Brutus stood with Caesar at Senate h...

... middle of paper ...

...eam of keeping the Republic alive goes down the drain. With the fall of Brutus, Caesar is finally avenged. “Caesar now be still, I killed not thee with half as good in will” (997). The final words of Brutus are spoken to Caesar. The death of Brutus marks the end of the conspiracy and brings on the end of the Roman Republic.

The tragedy of Julius Caesar is a story of betrayal and death. In a tragedy there must be a tragic hero. Brutus fits the mold well; being of high society and falling far down and untimely death. Death by the very sword used on Caesar. Brutus is the tragic hero of this play because he is pliable, his logic is flawed and he plunges the farthest from Caesar’s friend to death by suicide. The play is best summed up Titinius. “The sun of Rome is set” (991).

Works Cited

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