Brutus as a Tragic Hero

Topics: Julius Caesar, Roman Republic, Augustus Pages: 4 (1594 words) Published: September 28, 2010
Brutus as a tragic hero

In the play Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare portrays Marcus Brutus as a dramatic character and develops him into a tragic hero. “Shakespeare’s tragedies often feature the death of the titular character at the play’s end” (Julius Caesar 1). "Maurice Charney sees Brutus as an essentially sympathetic figure whose tragedy stems from sacrificing his private self to public concerns” (Julius Caesar 1). Marcus Brutus plays the protagonist and tragic hero in this play. A friend to Julius Caesar and a powerful public figure, Brutus was well respected by everyone in Rome. The Romans looked up to him, wanting to be like him as well “...he sits high in all the people’s hearts” (Shakespeare I.iii). Brutus was married to Portia and had a brother Cassius who was one of the members of the eight conspirators. Brutus was also a very stoic character. A stoic is a philosopher that believed that people should accept suffering without complaint. For example, even though Portia is dead, and Brutus is sad, he goes on like nothing happened. The entire play depicts the conflict that is raging in the mind of this character even after he murdered Caesar. The question is whether he betrayed his friend Caesar or if he committed a noble deed? Was he selfless or was he evil? “Rene Girard describes the relationship between Brutus and Caesar in different terms, likening Brutus to a lover who finds the object of his affection (Rome with another lover (Caesar)” (Julius Caesar 1). A character must possess certain characteristics to become a tragic hero. The character does not have to be a great hero or an evil villain. A tragic hero causes his own fall and usually only realizes it after it is too late to change anything. All tragic heroes make fatal errors due to his/her tragic flaws, which cause his/her own downfall. “Vivian Thomas finds both Brutus and Caesar flawed. Thomas contends that both men demonstrate poor judgment at critical moments, succumb to societal...
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