A Hero’s Tragic Downfall Essay

951 words - 4 pages

A Hero’s Tragic Downfall
In William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, Brutus is portrayed as a tragic hero. He believes he can amend the Roman Empire by killing Caesar and granting Romans freedom from a potential monarchy. Cassius comes to Brutus with intentions of obviating Caesar from the throne. At first, Brutus is against this. Then, Cassius changes his mind by lying to him and persuading him with false letters supposedly from other Romans. Ultimately, Brutus is the tragic hero because his actions cause him to lose all superior status; they also land him on a path toward his downfall and his death. Brutus has severe flaws, he loses power and respect, and his readers show ...view middle of the document...

This is a little naïve. Powerful political leaders cannot survive in their environment if they have poor judgment like Brutus. He says Caesar was ambitious, but Brutus never questioned Caesar’s ambition until he was talked into it and convinced of it. “I would not, Cassius, yet I love him well. / But when fore do you hold me here so long?” (820). Brutus didn’t even want to be near Cassius to listen to the possibility of killing his friend. If Cassius had never mention the mere thought of Caesar becoming king, Brutus would have never even though about harming him to prevent his “ambitions”.
The second characteristic qualifying Brutus as a tragic hero is his downfall. In the beginning, Brutus is very well off and very admired by the Romans and Caesar himself. “This was the noblest Roman of them all,” (998). Even his enemies respected him. However, when he decides to take part in the conspiracy he ultimately leads to misfortune. Antony and Octavius make Brutus their adversary and do all they can to make the citizens abhor the men. When war is coerced between the two sides, Brutus realizes he has been wrong from the beginning. Caesar’s ghost appears in act IV, it represents the guilt Brutus feels for the conspiracy and the war that soon follows. As the fight begins to draw closer to the end, he knows he is finished. Brutus always believed killing one’s self to prevent future suffering was dishonorable; however, it is he who takes his own life when he realizes time has run out. “It is more worthy to leap in ourselves / Than tarny till they push us,” (996). In the end, Brutus is the one who suffers for doing what he believes is...

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