Marcus Brutus as a Tragic Hero in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar Essay

Marcus Brutus as a Tragic Hero in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar Essay

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Marcus Brutus as a Tragic Hero in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar


In the play Julius Caesar, the tragedy of the play was directed mainly at one specific character, Marcus Brutus. Brutus was the tragic hero of the play, because of his idealistic and pragmatic qualities. The mindset that Brutus possessed only allowed him to see the world and its people from one point of view. This point of view allowed him to make judgments that assumed only the best of people. This tragic weakness resulted in many errors throughout the play. The major incidences such as decisions made during the orchard soliloquy, the discussion with Cassius and the conspirators regarding decisions about Antony and the oath, his speech to the commoners after Caesar's assassination and finally the outward circumstance regarding Titinius and Cassius in act 5. Brutus was too idealistic and lived in fantasy world in which he made all his decisions simply by expecting that all were as honourable as himself.

Brutus' idealism was displayed when he was reviewing his decision to kill Caesar while in his orchard. While evaluating his feelings towards Caesar, he stated, " I know little personal cause to spurn at him, But for the general". Brutus felt that Caesar had not done anything incorrect, but was afraid of what might occur. He compared Caesar to a snake, which has the ability to sting. Just as one might step on the snake and be stung, Caesar might defeat anyone who interfered with his course of action. Brutus thinks about what Caesar could become and do, if he was given the power of the crown. A very descriptive metaphor was used to illustrate Brutus' reasoning for killing:

That lowliness is young ambition's ladder,
Whereto the climber-upward turns his face...


... middle of paper ...


...t. Shortly after, Brutus too realizes that he fighting a battle that can not be won. His honour forces himself to run upon his sword, rather than to be captured by Octavius.


Brutus made errors because he was an idealist, who thought that all men, including Antony were honourable. Brutus was a tragic hero in this play, because he was too idealistic. He often fell into negative circumstances that were beyond his control. His decision making was often affected by this, because he made all his decisions by expecting that all were as honourable as himself. The tragedy can be well outlined by reviewing his orchard soliloquy, discussions made with the conspirators, the speech to the commoners and the outward circumstance in the conclusion of the play. Brutus died because of his idealism, and did so because others were not as honourable and trustworthy as he was.",,,,

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