The True Tragic Hero Essay
The True Tragic Hero
In Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, Marcus Brutus and Julius Caesar are different characters, but somehow similar. Marcus Brutus is a Roman political leader, son-in-law of the Roman philosopher Marcus Porcius Cato the Younger, born in Rome, and educated in law. Julius Caesar is a Roman general and statesman, who laid the foundations of the Roman imperial system. Brutus’s honorable ideals leave him open for manipulation by Cassius, a man opposed to Caesar. He believes so thoroughly in the purpose of the assassination that he does not perceive the need for excessive political management to justify the murder. This loyalty helps to bring about his death, as he refuses to pay attention to ill omens and goes willingly to the Senate, into the hands of his murderers. Marcus Brutus is shown to be the true tragic hero in Shakespeare’s play of The Tragedy of Julius Caesar because Brutus never sees his fault, and he dies remorseful for his deeds, but none the wiser on himself.
Marcus Brutus is a man good enough to be a tragic hero showing his goodness in every sense that everyone else knew it in the play. Some people say Julius Caesar is a tragic hero because the citizens of Rome love Caesar so much that they offer him the throne three times. Julius Caesar had already been the leader of Rome without being king, and had led his own army to many great victories. Here are three obvious signs of much power. Caesar can brag of his prosperity through his wealth, his many friends, and his loving wife. Caesar’s tragic flaw helps to make his death more of a tragedy. When Julius Caesar enters the Senate, Cassius worries that the assassination plot has been discovered. Trebonius draws Antony away from the Senate room. Brutus and Cassius kneel at Caesar’s feet and repeat Metellus’s request. Caesar answers that he will not change his mind now. Decius and Ligarius, followed by Casca, come forward to kneel at Caesar’s feet. Casca stabs Caesar first, and the others quickly follow, ending with Brutus.
Recognizing that Brutus, too, has joined with the conspirators, Caesar speaks, “Et tu, Brute?–Then fall Caesar”. (III,i,76) This shows that Caesar never suspected Brutus, and this question before his death proves that Brutus’s involvement was a complete surprise. Caesar knew Brutus was a good man, a noble Roman. After the coup, Antony eulogizes Brutus accurately when Brutus is found having taken his own life. Antony states, “Nature might stand up and say to the world, ‘This was a man!'” (V,v,74-5) This declares that Brutus is a pure good man full of honesty. It also declares the stark shock of Brutus’s act gave Caesar the greatest pain of all. These impacts demonstrate that Brutus died a tragic hero.
Brutus is also an honorable man who will do anything to care for everyone and anything he loves. Brutus and Cassius enter the Forum with a crowd of plebeians. Cassius exits to speak to another portion of the crowd. Brutus addresses the onstage crowd, assuring them that they may trust in his honor. He did not kill Caesar out of a lack of love for him, he says, but because his love for Rome outweighed his love of a single man. Brutus states, ” Not that I loved Caesar less, but I loved Rome more.” (III,ii,19-20) This shows that he cares about Rome and people more than anything. He insists that Caesar was great but ambitious; it was for this reason that he slew him. If Caesar weren’t killed, Brutus feared that the Romans would live as slaves under Caesar’s leadership. And Brutus displays his nobility in saying, “I love the name of honor more than I fear death.” (I,ii,88-89) This shows that Brutus believes a noble man takes his own life rather than suffer humiliation or capture. Brutus is a noble in the Roman sense that he would do anything for anybody or anything he loves, which is Rome and its people.
Brutus has a tragic flaw that will cause the downfall, which makes him the tragic hero. At the funeral of Caesar, Brutus permits Antony to speak at Caesar’s funeral. Cassius says this promises not well, but Brutus says Antony relies on his own rhetorical powers. Brutus explains to the crowd that Antony had no part in the conspiracy but that he will now be part of the new commonwealth. The plebeians cheer Brutus’s apparent kindness, declaring that Brutus should be Caesar. He quiets them and asks them to listen to Antony, who has obtained permission to give a funeral oration. Antony is able to sway the crowd into an angry mob with the power of his words. Antony speaks, “He was my friend, faithful and just to me.
But Brutus says he was ambitious, and Brutus is an honourable man….When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept…. Yet Brutus says he was ambitious, And Brutus is an honourable man…. I thrice presented him a kingly crown, which he did thrice refuse. Was this ambition? Yet Brutus says he was ambitious, And sure he is an honourable man.” (III.ii.82-96) This shows that Brutus’s tragic flaw is his trust. Meaning, he is too trusting in the human nature of other people. He is also too trusting in his own motives and beliefs. Brutus’s main tragic flaw was the trust he gave to Antony who turned people to hate the conspirators.
Marcus Brutus never sees his error, and he dies regretful for his deeds, but none the wiser on himself, which proves that Brutus is the true tragic hero in Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. Brutus is too good a character. His ultimate tragic flaw of being too trusting is generally a good trait in a person; provided it is held in moderation– less than Brutus. His tragic flaw adds to his character in the way he is unselfish. He is a noble Roman who is willing to put his country, or rather state, before his life. If his tragic flaw hadn’t emerged, he could have been one of the last die-hard Republican kings of Rome.