Brutus: the Tragic Hero

Topics: Roman Republic, Julius Caesar, Suicide Pages: 2 (570 words) Published: November 23, 2012
Brutus: The Tragic Hero
“A tragic hero is a character who is not eminently good and just, yet whose misfortune is brought about not by vice and depravity, but by some error or frailty.” Brutus fits the definition of a tragic hero because of his lust for power, his tragic flaw, and his downfall. So, because of heroic qualities and poor judgment, Brutus is the tragic hero of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.

To begin with, Brutus' lust for power is one of the many ways that make him to be the tragic hero. It all started when the conspirators and himself discussed/planned the assassination of Caesar. During the agreement and arrangement of the assassination, is when Brutus gains his power and gets what he wants. He then gets more involved with the killing of Caesar, making him feel more powerful. "Ay, every man away. Brutus shall lead, and we will grace his heels with the most boldest and best hearts of Rome." (iii, I, 119-121). Although Brutus can single handily take over the conspirator group and over rule Cassius, as a tragic hero he is to begin to lose power. This takes place throughout the falling action in act4 when Antony makes the angry mob turn against him. It will eventually lead up to his untimely death/downfall.

Secondly, the fact that Brutus has a tragic flaw is another way that makes him the tragic hero. His tragic flaw would be being to noble; which leads to naivety and allows him to be deceived by the characters (mainly Antony) and to his downfall. He shows his flaw by over trusting Antony to speak at Caesar's funeral even when Cassius advised him otherwise, but still Brutus did not listen. "Brutus, a word with you. You know not what you do; do not consent that Antony speaks in his funeral; know you how much the people may be moved by that which he will utter?" (iii, I, 232-234). Brutus then fails to listen to his conspirators as they try to persuade him. This demonstrates his tragic flaw clearly as he trusts Antony not to deceive him, and...
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