Brutus: Nobility Marred by a Tragic Flaw
After reading The Tragedy of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, some readers interpret Julius Caesar as the tragic hero of the play. However, Brutus is the real tragic hero. A tragic hero is a character that is virtuous, but makes crucial errors in judgment or possesses a tragic flaw that leads to their downfall. The tragic flaw that mars Brutus is his rigid sense of moral and political principles. Unlike Caesar, Brutus was able to separate his public life from his private life, but this hinders him when making major decisions. His character held clear distinctions between honor, friendships and his devotion to Rome. Throughout the play, Brutus places too much trust within the conspirators, especially in Mark Antony, which is a crucial error in judgment. Brutus is the tragic hero in The Tragedy of Julius Caesar because of his stern belief in moral and political principles and his inflexible sense of honor and nobility. First off, Brutus’s inflexible sense of honor made it easy for the conspirators to manipulate him. Brutus was very loyal to his close friends; however, when the future of Rome was taken into consideration, he was able to separate his feelings for his friends from his duties to the Republic. This allowed him to believe that Caesar, one of his closest friends, had to die for the good of the republic. The other conspirators sought to murder Caesar because they were envious of his immense power. However, Brutus thought that killing Caesar would actually lead to a better Rome. In Act II Scene I, the line, “We shall be called purgers, not murderers,” said by Brutus, emphasizes that Brutus believed killing Caesar would be beneficiary to Rome and was within good reason. This tragic flaw leads to not only Caesar’s downfall, but Brutus’, as well.
Secondly, Brutus placed too much trust into the hands of the conspirators and Mark Antony. His first mistake was allowing Antony to live after it was proposed by...
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