, Research Paper
The Tragic Hero of Julius Caesar
Tragedy concerns itself with the downfall of a protagonist (or the tragic hero) that suffers crushing defeat or death. Brutus certainly fits in as the protagonist of Julius Caesar and the tragic hero. Since Brutus was one of the main characters of the play, it would be obvious that he would be the tragic hero of the play as well.
The downfall of the protagonist occurs through a tragic flaw of the protagonist. Brutus tragic flaw was making bad judgments. For example, he let Antony speak at Caesar s funeral, he let Antony live and also he marched to Phillipi. Since the Romans liked Brutus, they thought that if he killed Caesar, then he had a good reason for it. However, if Brutus had not let Antony speak at the funeral, the people would not have turned against him and the other conspirators. Antony was not Caesar s best friend, like Brutus; he just wanted everybody to be against Brutus so they could follow him. Letting Antony live was very poor judgment. Brutus committed suicide because Antony defeated his army. If Antony were killed, Brutus would have never committed suicide himself. The march to Phillipi was also a bad idea because if they hadn t gone everybody wouldn t have been killed. Brutus also made poor judgment on his friend Cassius. Cassius was the one persuading Brutus to become one of the conspirators, if he hadn t listened to Cassius, he wouldn t have killed Caesar.
Brutus was one of Caesar s best friends, but he was not the greatest friend in the world. He killed his own best friend. Also, as good as a friend Brutus was to Caesar, it appeared as though Brutus loved Rome and it s people more. 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. (3.2.21-24) Loving Rome more than his own friend was another of Brutus tragic flaw. He was more loyal to people he s never met before, than his own friend. If Brutus did not love Rome more, he would not have killed his good friend.
If Brutus felt so strongly that to save Rome he had to assassinate his own best friend that definitely must show something. Brutus killed Caesar for the people of Rome s sake, not for his own. A true hero would think of other people before thinking of himself. In the play, we see Brutus feelings and actions, more than Caesar s.
Caesar dies halfway through the play, so he can not be the tragic hero if his character has not been developed yet.
Another point is that if Brutus was not part Julius Caesar, the killing of Caesar most likely would never had happened, therefore Brutus plays a very important role in the story. The reason for killing Caesar was to keep Rome together, if Brutus were not part of the conspiracy the people would think that killing Caesar was useless. If Brutus were not there to tell them that killing Caesar was to keep Rome together, everybody would turn against the conspirators. Brutus was exceptionally important in the play.
All of this is important evidence shows that Brutus is the tragic hero. He is the hero because of what he did for the sake of his people and it was tragic because he died as a result of losing to his enemy. Brutus was a very important person, therefore if he wasn t in the story; there wouldn t be a story. Brutus was the person who held the play together. For that reason, Brutus is the main character, the protagonist, and the tragic hero. This was the noblest Roman of them all. (5.5.74)