Julius Caesar Tragic Hero

Words: 1529
Pages: 7

“For let the gods so speed me, as I love / the name of honor more than I fear death” (Shakespeare 1.2.900). These are the wise words of Marcus Brutus. In the play The Tragedy of Julius Caesar; written by William Shakespeare, Marcus Brutus is the main character, despite the title of the play. Shakespeare is known for incorporating tragic heroes into his writings. A traditional tragic hero is defined as a person; usually of noble birth, who suffers some type of catastrophe that leads to their downfall. However, Shakespeare adds additional elements to his tragic heroes. As you read through the play, it becomes obvious to the audience that Brutus clearly fits the description of a Shakespearean tragic hero.
Presumably, Shakespeare followed the key
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Brutus made an abounding amount of choices throughout the course of the play. These choices have shaped him into who he is and affect his future actions. Brutus made a choice to trust Cassius and the other Conspirators, and that was his first mistake. Cassius swayed Brutus into believing that killing Caesar was a noble act and for the best of Rome. This however, was not the case. The Conspirators killed Caesar for their personal benefit. Cassius was envious of Caesar’s wealth and power. Brutus continues making lousy mistakes with Marc Antony. From the beginning of the Conspiracy, Cassius and the other Conspirators pleaded to kill Antony, but Brutus immediately denied the request. He said that, “our course will seem too bloody” (Shakespeare 2.1.922). Brutus had no reason to want to kill Antony, so therefore he would not kill him because that would be dishonorable. In Shalvi’s article, she pointed out that, “Had Brutus heeded Cassius and slain Antony all might have been well- except that Brutus would have shown himself even more corrupt and evil” (Shalvi 80). Brutus would not listen to Cassius about killing Antony because that would be dishonorable and that is not Brutus. This decision would eventually bring Brutus more choices to make. After the assassination of Caesar, Antony approached Brutus and Cassius about speaking at Caesar’s funeral. Cassius was clear and confident on his thoughts about allowing Antony not to speak. In 3.1, Cassius says to Brutus, “You know not what you do; do not consent / That Antony speak in his funeral. / Know how much the people may be moved / By that which he will utter (Shakespeare 3.1.949). Brutus however, did not listen to Cassius and allowed Antony to speak at the funeral; given he follow the set instructions that Brutus ruled out for him. Caesar undervalued the power of Antony so much that during Antony’s speech, Brutus left.