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Julius Caesar Essay

939 words - 4 pages

The Greek philosopher, Aristotle, defined the “Tragic Hero” — his idea of a tragedy’s main character. The Tragic Hero has good intentions, but his own actions result in his downfall. The hero is usually male, of noble birth, and may have supernatural experiences. Although he may not initially fully comprehend the consequences of his choices, he eventually understand their contributions to his doom. There are characters in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar who may fit some of these characteristics. Caesar is unexpectedly killed by senators for his political approach when he assumed he was serving Rome. Antony loses his dear comrade and friend, Caesar, and tries to avenge him, but his efforts are in vain. Caesar and Antony do not meet Aristotle’s definition of the Tragic Hero in full context. However, Brutus clearly represents Aristotle’s Tragic Hero as his intentions for killing Julius Caesar were to protect the empire he loved. and brought upon him personal destruction.
Brutus murdered Caesar with honorable purpose so that the Roman people would not “die all slaves”, but “live [as] freemen” (117). Caesar’s death was believed to be in the best interest of Rome and a necessary loss to the empire. Brutus did not seek glory or power, but stability for Rome (unlike most of the conspirators). The Tragic Hero makes an ethical decision, in which the repercussion of his choice was the bringing forth of his own downfall. Brutus did not seek glory and power because he was dissatisfied with his life — he sought to protect the place he loved. He already held a noble status, and was married to a “true and honorable wife” (71). He had no need to stir up the empire and his own personal life, but he felt obligated to protect the country and its future from Caesar corruption. Cassius, one of many co-conspirators, appeared to be thirsty for something more in his career, which is evident by betraying his enemies and allies. While arguing in a tent outside of Sardis, Brutus reminds Cassius that they killed Caesar to protect rome and not for personal gain. Cassius became infuriated and began to threaten Brutus, and contemplated killing him. Cassius sought some form of sick fulfillment that he intended to find through the “ill-tempered” slaughter of the people around him (157). Upon Brutus’s eventual suicide, Antony stood over his body and passionately declared that he “was the noblest Roman of them all. All the conspirators...did that in envy of great Caesar...His life was gentle and...nature might stand up And say to all the world This was a man” (209).
Brutus satisfied many of the minor nuances of the role of the tragic hero, ultimately defining Aristotle’s Tragic Hero. He...

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