Brutus Tragic Hero Essay, Research Paper
In the play The Tragedy of Julius Caesar by William
Shakespeare, the character Marcus Brutus fits the definition of the tragic hero. Like other tragic heroes, he had great promise, ability, and integrity of character. However, he had a tragic flaw: He was too trusting.
Brutus had great promise, ability, and strength of character. The fact that he could single-handedly take over the group of conspirators, and completely overrule Cassius demonstrates his strength of character, and his influence on others. Brutus had a very important role in the conspiracy: He was the “back-bone” of the plan. According to Cassius, Brutus’ main purpose in the conspiracy is for an insurance policy. The people will think, since Brutus is noble to Caesar, that there is a good reason for Caesar’s assassination. Brutus will also be the leader of the conspiracy for another “insurance policy” for the assassination. Cassius is the one who declares this, “Brutus shall lead the way, and we will grace his heels with the most boldest and best hearts of Rome. “(act 3, scene 1, ll.135-136). Again, if Brutus leads the way, the people will think that the death of Julius Caesar wasn’t such a bad thing. Brutus also declares to himself that his role in the conspiracy is to save Rome. He says to the people that, “If then that friend demand why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my answer: not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more.”(Act 3,scene 2,ll.21-24).
Brutus’s tragic flaw was that he was too trusting. He frankly and honestly felt that he had had to kill Caesar in order to save Rome from tyranny. He trusted Antony not to blame the conspirators in his speech at Caesar’s funeral. Antony broke that promise and got Brutus and the others into deep trouble. Brutus also trusted Cassius. Cassius only asked Brutus to be a part of the conspiracy as a way of getting closer to Caesar. He never suspected that Brutus would take over the group and become their leader. Cassius thought that he was getting someone to lead the men, but that he would still be the head man.
Brutus, however, took all power away from Cassius, and Cassius no longer had any say in the happenings of the group Brutus filled the description of the tragic hero quite well. He was a great man, and everyone knew it. Though he killed Caesar, he had a valid excuse which he had the people believe. He thought that killing Caesar was the right thing to do, even though it was not. Any way one looks at it, Brutus was a great man, and a tragic hero.
“This was the noblest Roman of them all. All the conspirators save only he– did that they did in envy of great Caesar; He, only in general honest thought– and common good to all, made one of them. His life was gentle, and the elements so mixed in him that Nature might stand up– And say to all the world, ‘This was a man!’” -Marcus Antony.