Marcus Brutus: Noble and patriotic yet flawed. His loyalty to Rome and major character flaw results in his downfall at the end of the novel. Aristotle says “A tragic hero is a character who is not eminently good and just, yet whose misfortune is brought about not by vice and depravity, but by some error or frailty…” In the novel Julius Caesar by Shakespeare, Marcus Brutus is the tragic hero. His excessive trust in his peers, naivety, and patriotism result in his tragic death.
Though noble, Brutus was far from perfect. He murdered Julius Caesar. However, he did not do this out of enmity but for the benefit of Rome. Marcus Brutus was respected by many Romans. His friendship with the beloved Julius Caesar caused many Romans to adore him. The conspirators discovered that if Brutus joined them, the citizens would better understand the reasoning behind the assassination of Caesar. “But 'tis a common proof / That lowliness is young ambition's ladder, / Whereto the climber-upward turns his face; / But when he once attains the utmost round, / He then unto the ladder turns his back.”(2. 1. 21-25). Brutus viewed Caesar as an honorable man who was not right for the throne. He believed that Rome would not be successful under Caesar’s reign. Brutus ultimately decided that the prosperity of Rome was his priority and killing Caesar was necessary in order for Rome to succeed. “Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more” (3.2.20-21). Brutus’ good intentions caused him to be viewed as a tragic hero rather than as dishonest and manipulative like Cassius.
Brutus’ major character flaw was naivety. He was easily persuaded and manipulated by Cassius and the citizens of Rome. This flaw played a major role in his eventual downfall. His desire to maintain his high status caused him to be...