Julius Caesar the True Tragic Hero

Topics: Julius Caesar, Roman Republic, Roman Empire Pages: 4 (1526 words) Published: November 11, 2011
Aristotle once said “A man doesn’t become a hero until he can see the root of his own downfall.” These words best describe what a “Tragic Hero” is and both Julius Caesar and Brutus displayed this characteristic, so the question is “Who is the real tragic hero in this story?” This paper shall explore the reasons behind why each man is considered a hero in his own right and who the rightful owner to the title of the play truly belongs to. There have been countless tragic heroes in the works of William Shakespeare such as Macbeth and Hamlet, but the real question to ask is “What defines a tragic hero?” A tragic hero is a person who is usually of noble birth with heroic qualities, who possesses a distinct characteristic called a Hamartia, which is a tragic or fatal flaw that eventually leads to his own death and downfall, in addition they also go through a Peripateia, or a reversal of fortune brought about by his own Hamartia and will then discover that this reversal was brought out upon by the hero’s own downfall. Julius Caesar was a noble leader of the Roman people; he was an undefeated general that deserved the respect of his followers. He was a good man who based all of his actions for the good of his people and his loved ones, his good friend Antony even described him as a “friend, faithful and just” (Act 3, Scene 2, Line 83) during his famous speech at Caesar’s funeral. However, it was his own pride and the fact that he would not listen to the divine fate predicted by the soothsayer “Beware the ides of March” (Act 1, scene 2, line 20) that brought by his own demise, despite being warned numerous times about the impending danger of the fifteenth of March, he persistently ignored the many warnings due to his belief of being “as eternal as the North Star”. Yet due to his wife, Calpurnia, pleading him not to go to the Capitol on the fifteenth of March after she had a divine vision about the impending danger that awaited him, he decided to stay with her...
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