Julius Caesar: Tragic Hero

Topics: Julius Caesar, Roman Republic, Mark Antony Pages: 2 (608 words) Published: October 15, 2013
A tragic hero is a man of noble stature, not just any ordinary man, but a man with outstanding qualities and greatness about him. This nobleman will also have a serious tragic flaw which leads to his disastrous downfall. In Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar, two characters come to mind who may fit this definition - Julius Caesar and Marcus Brutus. Julius Caesar is a military leader, politician and the ruler of Rome. Many people love him for taking down Pompey, yet some people fear his power. Brutus is a close friend of Caesar’s who also holds a high rank in office. While arguments for Julius Caesar or Marcus Brutus can be made as to which one may be the tragic hero, it is Caesar that is the real tragic hero in this story.

Without a doubt, Marcus Brutus is one of the main characters of the play. He is a highly ranked person in the government and a very good friend of Caesar’s. Brutus is known for his reputation for leadership, honor and nobleness, but he is not always practical, and is often impulsive. Brutus has to make many difficult decisions throughout this play. However, these decisions frequently backfire. For example, on the Ides of March, Brutus says to himself, “ It must be by his death; and for my part. I know no personal cause to spurn at him, but for the general” (740.) This is when Brutus finally decides to join the conspiracy to kill Caesar. Later at the Senate House, the conspirators eventually kill Caesar. Unfortunately for Brutus, he consistently misjudges the citizens of Rome and in the end, commits suicide. Without making these decisions, Brutus would not have reached his downfall.

However, Julius Caesar is the tragic hero. While on his way back from defeating Pompey, Caesar is met by a cheering crowd, filled with many people who adore him. Caesar was supposed to be the next great leader of Rome. Antony says, “I thrice presented him a kingly crown, which he did thrice refuse” (775.) He had refused the crown, offered to him by Marc...
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