Literature and Composition Block D
12 February 2013
E tu Brute?
Was a tragic hero ever named in the novel Julius Caesar by Shakespeare? A tragic hero was never named in the novel, most likely due to the fact that there were many candidates to the tragic hero role. Could it be Brutus, Cassius, or Julius Caesar himself? A tragic hero is a great or virtuous character in a dramatic tragedy that is destined for downfall, suffering, or defeat. The tragic hero also must have a hamartia, which is a fatal flaw. Who would become the tragic hero, who would make that tragic flaw, and who would take the tragic fall?
There is no such thing as the perfect person. One may dream of such a person, but sadly, everyone has flaws. These flaws are what make us human. Something else that makes us human is our need for heroes. We attribute ‘perfect’ qualities to our heroes. One powerful quote that describes how Brutus felt towards Caesar whilst he took power of Rome is as follows “As Caesar loved me, I weep for him/ as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it/ as he was valiant, I honor him, but, as he was ambitious, I slew him” (Act III. Scene ii. L 26-29). This tells the story of how Brutus needed to kill his best friend, Caesar, in order to better Rome. Through this act, he gained power of the government and people, and was thought of as a very noble man. “E tu Brute” (Act III. Scene i. L 77) said Caesar, this shows that his tragic flaw was having too much trust in people. In reality even our heroes are flawed. The closing thing to the idealized person, or hero, is the Shakespearean tragic hero. “With this I depart that, as I slew my best lover for the good of Rome, I have the same dagger for myself, when it shall please my country to need my death.” (Act III. Scene ii. L 45-47) Brutus thought that his country was more important than Caesar. The tragic hero is someone of high standing, good character, and a flaw. While it may be only one...