Brutus Tragic Hero Essay

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Brutus: Tragic Hero or Antagonist? Friends and coworkers alike should be people one is able to rely on. In the times of ancient Rome, however, these luxuries are hard to come by. Julius Caesar’s friends and fellow government officials, people he should be able to trust, assassinate him at a Senate meeting on the Ides of March. However, Caesar is not the character in the play to be betrayed and manipulated. His good friend, Brutus, also struggles with not being able to trust the people Brutus thought he could. According to Aristotle’s definition of tragic hero, the tragic hero of William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Julius Caesar is Brutus because he fits all five characteristics: nobility, hamartia, peripeteia, anagnorisis, and catharsis. …show more content…
During the beginning of the play, the only reason Brutus joins the conspiracy is because Cassius sends him letters begging for Caesar to be removed from power, which Brutus believes are from the citizens of Rome. Before receiving the letters, Brutus teeters between whether or not he wants to get involved, but after reading them he feels that he is “entreated / to speak and strike” (II.i.56-7). Probably any other person would be suspicious whether or not Roman citizens actually wrote the letters or if they were forged, but Brutus’ naivety and dedication to Rome allow him to make a final decision once and for all: that he will join the conspirators to assassinate Caesar. Another event that exemplifies Brutus 's naiviety is the trust that he places in Antony. Not only does Brutus tell Cassius that they will “be sacrificers, not butchers,” refusing to assassinate Antony, he also allows Antony to speak at Caesar’s funeral after Brutus speaks (II.i.166). Although Brutus gives Antony rules about what he can and cannot say, Brutus trusts Antony to adhere to those rules, which Antony does not. In this speech Antony persuades the Romans to mutiny and turn against the conspirators, which Brutus finds himself unable to stop because he blindly trusted Antony and left. At …show more content…
Although not alone in the play, Brutus is one of the two characters in William Shakespeare’s A Tragedy of Julius Caesar who fits this definition. Many of the characters in the play receive terrible fates that any normal person would label as tragic, but it is Brutus’ story that stands out from the rest. Born noble, Brutus’ tragic flaw of naivety causes his downfall, making the audience feel a range of emotions from pity to pride for the man. He is anything but a perfect man, but he is noble and has good intentions, and these qualities are what, according to Aristotle, make him the true tragic

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