Marcus Brutus as a Tragic Hero Essay

Marcus Brutus as a Tragic Hero Essay

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A tragic hero in Shakespearean literature is understood as a noble and heroic character who makes a series of bad decisions based on his bad judgment that leads to his downfall and eventually death. In William Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, the tragic hero is Marcus Brutus, a powerful Roman senator who joins a conspiracy to assassinate the Roman ruler, Julius Caesar. Marcus Brutus is a tragic hero because of his noble reputation, his moral personality, the cathartic experience that the audience feels from his life and his tragic flaw: idealism.
Brutus is a tragic hero because he is well-respected in Roman society. This is displayed when Cassius, Casca and Cinna are speaking about the conspiracy after the marathon on the feast of Lupercal, and they talk about how they need to get Brutus involved in the conspiracy. Casca says, “Oh, he sits high in all the people’s hearts” (1.3.157). This proves that Brutus is honourable and noble in the public’s eyes. Also, in Brutus’s orchard, after the conspirators leave, Ligarius says to Brutus, “And with a heart new fir’d I follow you,/To do I know not what; but it sufficeth/That Brutus leads me on.”(2.1.332–35). This shows that Brutus is so dignified that even if people don’t know what he is doing or why, they will follow him because he is Marcus Brutus. Therefore, Brutus’s honour and nobility grant him the power to take action, which categorizes him as a tragic hero.
Furthermore, Brutus’s ethical intuition defines him as a tragic hero. Brutus’s morals are demonstrated when he meets with the other conspirators in his orchard about Caesar’s assassination and he says, “Let’s kill him boldly, but not wrathfully;/Let’s carve him as a dish fit for the gods,/Not hew him as a carcass fi...


... middle of paper ...


...orally like most every day people, his ideals are what destroys him in the end and he evokes pity and fear in the audience which leads to catharsis. The lesson that everyone can take from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar is that we should try not to see people just at face value. Additionally we should not let our ideals blind our decisions, but try to think that our ideals are not the same as everyone else's. In the end, our fear and pity are released, so we commiserate with Brutus and his catastrophic end and but we do not feel pity or fear anymore; instead, we learn from his experiences which is catharsis. In conclusion, we learn from Brutus’s personality and decisions in the way we feel, while learning of his story, in the fact that he is a tragic hero.






Works Cited

Shakespeare, William. Julius Caesar. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1985. Print.

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