Tragic Heros

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Many tragic heroes had honor which was either their downfall or their positive trait. In Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part 1, Hotspur, a hot tempered traitor, makes honor his first priority for him and his family . Although the king praised him, he led a rebellion against him. In Julius Caesar Brutus, a honor driven conspirator, believes too much in honor and uses nor as a way to justify his action. He is admired by the Roman people, but was easily manipulated into joining a conspiracy and immediately took as the leader to killing Caesar. Both of these characters are very similar in how they perceived and lived their lives. Shakespeare creates Brutus and Hotspur as characters whose principle concern is for themselves and honor which ironically causes them to make unprincipled decisions which eventually causes their downfall. Hotspur lives his life by the code of honor. Henry IV, the king at that time, honors and respects Hotspur more than his own son. When Hotspur does not give the prisoners that he had captured to the king, it is treason because he defies against the king. Hotspur says that he did not want to hand over the prisoners because his army had just fought a hard battle and were very proud of what they had done. When the servant came looking very clean and trimly dressed, they felt that if they gives the prisoners to him then Hotspur and his army would be giving away everything they had worked and fought for. Hotspur feels that the king attacks his honor when he orders those prisoner be sent to him. The king becomes angry because Hotspur had time to think about his decision and Hotspur still had not given the soldiers to him. The king says, “ Send us your prisoners, or you will hear of it” (Henry IV Part 1, I, iii, 126). Brutus also believes that honor is what makes a man. He says, “ For let the gods so speed me as I love the name of honor more than I fear death” (Julius Caesar, I, ii, 95-96). He thinks that killing Caesar is his duty because it will be for...
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