The True Tragic Hero
The Elizabethan Era was renowned not only for its great period of exploration and peace, but also for its revival of the arts and theatre (“Elizabethan England Life” 2013). “Tragedy of Julius Caesar” by William Shakespeare is a tragic play about how a group of jealous senators convince Brutus, a trusted friend of Caesar, to conspire against Caesar to kill him. After they commit this act, Caesar’s right hand man, Antony, devises to extract revenge upon the conspirators, thus sparking a civil war that results in the death of Brutus and the other conspirators and triumph for Antony. Both Brutus and Caesar display attributes characteristic of a tragic hero. The two both carry the tragic flaw of pride that leads them to their irreversible mistake and eventual demise. Brutus is more deserving of the title of tragic hero because his tragic flaw of pride is backed by what he believes to be a noble cause. Brutus’ irreversible mistake is fully made by his own hand and knowledge. Brutus truly recognizes his mistake and accepts his demise, whereas Caesar is never truly given the choice of accepting an honorable death. It is significant that the reader understands the key components that go into the making of a tragic hero. The reader must then take these key components and use them as an outline of which to model a true tragic hero. Julius Caesar and Marcus Brutus both demonstrate a trait distinguishing of a tragic hero - their tragic flaw, in this case, pride or hubris. Caesar exhibits pride that stems from his high self-worth and self-righteousness. In Act I, Scene II, during the festivities for Caesar’s defeat over Pompey, Caesar warns Antony about how Cassius has been behaving of late. Antony responds that Caesar should not worry himself about Cassius, and Caesar replies, “I rather tell thee what is to be fear’d/ than what I fear’d; for always I am Caesar” (Shakespeare 9). Caesar tells Antony that he is informing him about what Antony should be wary...
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