Honors English 10 3B
24 March 2015
Tragic Hero Analysis
The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, written by William Shakespeare, is a “drama of men caught in the complex dilemma of political power and tyranny.” Julius Caesar is brutally killed by his closest friends and family, for they were obsessed with power. His son-like figure, Brutus, was the leader of the conspirators and caused the mass destruction of Caesar’s power. The said “tragic hero” of the play is wildly argued and discussed; the possible characters being Brutus, the traitor, and Caesar, the victim. The tragic hero of the play is Marcus Brutus because he possesses heroic qualities like loyalty to his country; he has a good but flawed character, and has a strong lust for power.
There is no such thing as a perfect person, but some acquire more heroic or moral qualities. Julius Caesar was a powerful man; he ruled the Roman Empire until his assassination on the Ides of March, but he was not heroic. He was a weak person, and relied on others to fulfill his duties, unlike Brutus. He was a heroic and loyal person; he felt that killing Caesar would benefit the people of Rome and felt that they deserved a better leader. He was loyal to his fellow conspirators and continued to be on their side until the day he died. Brutus had great promise and was a strong leader; he possessed heroic qualities that led to the downfall of Caesar. Brutus is the tragic hero of Julius Caesar because he was a loyal and heroic man.
Brutus has a good character, but is also very flawed. His main flaw was being too trusting. He trusted Antony to not blame the conspirators for Caesar’s death and trusted that he was on their side, “...You [Antony] shall not in your funeral speech blame us...” (Shakespeare 3.1.245), but Antony being a close friend of Caesar, disregarded Brutus’s orders. Brutus also trusted that killing Caesar would be for the greater good of the country, not thinking of the consequences of his actions. In an article called, Who Is the Hero of the Play?, the author states that Brutus is “a murderer of a father-like figure… but behaves heroically by putting the general before his own good.” Brutus is flawed with being too trusting; therefore he is the tragic hero.
Brutus also had a strong lust for power that helped coin him as the tragic hero. He joined the conspirators and immediately took charge over them. He controlled how they acted and who was a part of the group. In an article, Julius Caesar- The Analysis of Brutus, the author states that Brutus was selfish and knew that he had no chance at having the crown if Caesar took control of it, so he killed Caesar and assumed the crown would then be rightfully his. Brutus killed Caesar out of fear and envy. He honestly believed that Caesar would be a bad king, but he also acted selfishly and let his lust sway his decision on whether or not to murder his friend. Brutus’s lust for power and jealousy were key components in why he is the tragic hero.
Brutus was a great mean, but was also very flawed. He tried to do what he thought was right for the country, but became selfish and envious, which was what caused the tragedy. He is remembered by Antony as “the noblest Roman of them all.”(Shakespeare 5.5.70) Brutus was a very loyal person with a good character, but was power-hungry and too trusting and naive. Despite his death and loss in battle, Brutus is remembered as the noble, but tragic hero of William Shakespeare’s famous play, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. As quote from Antony shows that Brutus was remembered as a great man:
“This was the noblest roman of them all
All conspirators save only he
Did that they did envy of great Caesar;
He, only in a general honest thought
And common good to all, made one of them.
His life was gentle, and the elements
So mixed in him that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world, “This was a man!”” (Shakespeare 5.5.68-75)
"Marcus Brutus as the Tragic Hero in Julius Caesar :: Julius Caesar Essays." Marcus Brutus as the Tragic Hero in Julius Caesar :: Julius Caesar Essays. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2015.
"Julius Caersar - Analysis of Brutus." Julius Caersar - Analysis of Brutus. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.
"Who Is the Hero of the Play." Drama Study Guide: The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. N.p., n.d. Web.
Bullough, Geoffrey. ""A Tragic Chronicle" from Julius Caesar and Plutarch." N.p., n.d. Web.