Julius Caesar Analysis Essay Research Paper Aristotle

Julius Caesar Analysis Essay, Research Paper

Aristotle was perhaps the pioneer of modern day dramas, more

specifically dramatic tragedies. He first defined what a

tragedy is: A drama which contained hubris, pathos and/or

bathos, and the most valued element in a tragedy, a tragic

hero. This was usually the main character who is noble in his

deeds, yet has one flaw which causes him to fall. The tragic

works of Shakespeare were no exception. In the drama, Julius

Caesar the reader can clearly see many of the principles of a

tragedy. That is all except for the tragic hero. Ideas as to

who is the tragic hero range from Cassius to Julius Caesar

himself. The trouble is all characters have material to prove

and disprove them. However the hypothesis that Marcus Brutus is

the tragic hero is incorrect. One element to a tragic hero is

the hero has only one tragic flaw, and Brutus clearly has more

than one flaw in his character. The first flaws in Brutus

character is his naivete and the assumptions he makes about

other characters. Through out the entire story these two flaws

are reflected in many of his decisions and actions. A specific

example is his view on the Roman populace. Thinking all Romans

are honorable and noble it is not only incorrect, but it

plagues him until the very end of the play. One instance

occurred as the conspirators were meeting. Brutus stated, Lets

kill him boldly, but not wrathfully…… This shall make our

purpose necessary and not envious…. (Shakespeare, Julius

Caesar, 2.1. 172 & 177-178). He honestly believed that all

involved were going to kill Caesar for honorable reasons. Not

once did he question the motives of everyone, where, in reality

Brutus probably was the only involved for noble reasons. Brutus

undoubtedly convinces the reader of his own naivete when he

states, … let us bathe our hands in Caesars blood… Lets

all cry ^Peace, freedom, and liberty!! (3.1. 106 & 110) Just

by his enthusiasm, Brutus is not aware of any other motives. He simply

believes that , Peace, freedom, and liberty are the only motives.

Another example was during his speech at Caesars funeral. … not

that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more (3.2. 18-20).

Addressing the nobility of his actions and his love for Rome, Brutus

surmises that the people understand him because of their equal love

for their country. This assumption is evident because he uses it as

the sole reason for killing Caesar. A reason that Brutus believes the

people agree with, otherwise he would not use it to rationalize such a

crime. Lastly that same lack of insight is seen in when Brutus

declares, … I have done no more to Caesar than you shall do to

Brutus (3.2. 28-29) Paraphrased he says that the people would do the

same to him if he became ambitious, as he did to Caesar for becoming

ambitious. Yet the people hardly understand him. One citizen proves

that! when he states, Caesars better parts Shall be crowned in

Brutus (3.2 39-40). The citizen completely misses the point Brutus is

trying to make, and blurts out a random, ignorant comment. Throughout

all the naive decisions and assumptions Brutus still has another

downfall. A flaw that is closely related, but still different.

The second flaw seen in Brutus is his one sided perception of

many things. His perceptions of attitudes, values, beliefs, and

more. This can be seen during his funeral speech. Focusing only

on the political aspects of the assassination, he not once

stops to consider that Caesar was more than a representation of

the future Rome, but a person too. I slew my best lover for

the good of Rome ( 3.2. 33-34) says Brutus. He dose not once

grieve for Caesar, or show remorse for Caesar. He innocently

addresses only one side of the situation. This incorrect

perception is then used against him n Cassius speech. Cassius

makes it plain to the audience that Brutus did not view Caesar

as a person, and therefore convincing the crowd against Brutus.

A second example of Brutus poor perception was after the

assassination. As Rome’s situation turned into civil war Brutus

still speaks of honor and nobility. … Did not great Julius

bleed for justice sake? ( 4.3. 19) , … I am armed so str!

ong in honesty(4.3. 67), our legions are brimful, our cause is ripe

(4.3. 214). On and on he goes focused on what he still deems important.

Once again Brutus perception is incorrect and reality is much

different. Not many still value honestly, and most know that at those

times, it would not help you move ahead. Rome begins to fall, and what

hopes of saving it do not center around the honorable and noble point

of view Brutus clings on to. Yet it is his flaw that he is ignorant of

such things. One flaw, that are many within Brutus.

Brutus has two, maybe three, distinct flaws in his character,

and many downfalls. Brutus first is naive, and assumes to much

about the people of Rome. He does listen to them, but what he

hears is either misinterpreted, or it is set aside because it

does not agree with his preconceived notions of what the

populace should be saying. All of this makes it very clear that

Brutus is not the tragic hero. Who then is the hero? As stated

before, there is concrete evidence proving and disproving many

other characters. But then is Julius Caesar truly a tragedy?

Does not a tragedy have a clear tragic hero? Nobody will ever

know. But whether Julius Caesar is a tragedy as most believe,

or a historical account as others believe, it is a beautiful

work of art. Literature at its very best, something that will

never be forgotten.



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