Essay about The Tragic Hero Of Julius Caesar

1159 Words Jan 13th, 2016 5 Pages
The qualities of a tragic hero, as defined by Aristotle, require the literary character to unknowingly cause his downfall due to a fatal flaw and to also have good intentions while being no morally better nor worse than others. This introduces the element of pity which enables audience members to empathize for the tragic hero and are often left in a catharsis due to the hero’s heart-rending death. Most tragedies are named after the tragic hero, such as in Oedipus Rex by Sophocles. However, while many argue that William Shakespeare’s tragedy is titled Julius Caesar, Julius Caesar is not the tragic hero. Instead, Marcus Brutus is the tragic hero due to his hamartia of naiveté, his peripeteia at the Forum, and his anagnorisis leading him to commit suicide at the Battle of Philippi.
Brutus’s hamartia is his naiveté, which allows for the element of pity as the tragic hero. Brutus is accustomed to committing acts of kindness and to wanting the best for Rome, which entails putting everyone else’s needs in front of his own. On many occasions, Brutus professes his love for Rome, such as at the Forum where he declares, “not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more. Had you rather Caesar were living, and die all slaves, than that Caesar were dead, to live all freemen?” (III.ii.23-26). In another instance he says, “as I [Brutus] slew my best lover for the good of Rome, I have the same dagger for myself when it shall please my country to need my death,” displaying his…

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