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Shakespeare's Tragic Hero In "The Tragedy Of Julius Caesar"

1923 words - 8 pages

After hundreds of years The Tragedy of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare has been studied, reviewed, taught, read, and immortalized in films. Why would a voluminous amount of resources be poured into this simple play? As with Shakespeare’s other works, this play has been a great tool for English majors, authors, and any interested to have an insight on human action and reason. The tragedy follows Cassius and Brutus, the protagonists, as they seek to overthrow Julius Caesar from monarchy in Rome. They plan to achieve this by killing him then taking the power for themselves. These two and six others succeed in killing Caesar but did not take power. Instead, three other men as triumvirs: Octavius, Antony, and Lepidus have decided to split the empire into three sections. The climax and resolution of this tragedy ends with the three triumvirs crushing the unsuccessful usurpers. One of these, Brutus, was, is, and will still be an interesting character for all to study in life. This was due to Shakespeare and history displaying him as a tragic hero, yet unsung in most historical records. To put it briefly, a tragic hero is a figure who has a high standing in society or a situation and causes his/her own downfall but is enlightened in the end. Brutus showed these qualities from beginning to end by giving numerous flaws in his mind and acting upon them, then by becoming completely enlightened; however, this enlightenment also includes his climatic death.
To begin with, many have looked at the reasons of this tragic hero’s need for enlightenment. This was from all the flaws and faults Brutus carried. Brutus throughout the whole play has made many blunders. These mistakes, little they seemed for the moment, grew and exploded in Brutus’s face and ruining the seizing of the empire. The first major mistake Brutus begins with is also Brutus’s major strength. This is his love, admiration, and care for all people of Rome. The people of Rome looked to Brutus and honored him for his support and generosity, but there was one who saw this as a manipulative fault. This was Cassius and e used Brutus’s very strength and what Brutus loved so dear to turn him against his people’s respect to another. “Well, Brutus, thou art noble yet I see thy honorable mettle may be wrought…” (899). Cassius stated this in a famous soliloquy where he revealed how he would turn Brutus against Rome and its leader. The clever Cassius saw that Brutus headstrong yet wary in his trust for Caesar. Cassius used the doubt Brutus had and played into it by creating fake letters of the people. In this Brutus was forever implicated as a figure head in the conspiracy to kill Caesar, which eventually destroys him emotionally and physically. The second major flaw Brutus has apart of his being was the assassination of Caesar itself. By killing Caesar Brutus not only killed a leader, but a friend, a brother, and himself. As Shakespeare and history explained Brutus and Caesar were friends and called...

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