A tragic hero is a man of noble stature, not just any ordinary man, but a man with outstanding qualities and greatness about him. This nobleman will also have a serious tragic flaw which leads to his disastrous downfall. In Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar, two characters come to mind who may fit this definition – Julius Caesar and Marcus Brutus. Julius Caesar is a military leader, politician and the ruler of Rome. Many people love him for taking down Pompey, yet some people fear his power. Brutus is a close friend of Caesar’s who also holds a high rank in office. While arguments for Julius Caesar or Marcus Brutus can be made as to which one may be the tragic hero, it is Caesar that is the real tragic hero in this story.
Without a doubt, Marcus Brutus is one of the main characters of the play. He is a highly ranked person in the government and a very good friend of Caesar’s. Brutus is known for his reputation for leadership, honor and nobleness, but he is not always practical, and is often impulsive. Brutus has to make many difficult decisions throughout this play. However, these decisions frequently backfire. For example, on the Ides of March, Brutus says to himself, “ It must be by his death; and for my part. I know no personal cause to spurn at him, but for the general” (740.) This is when Brutus finally decides to join the conspiracy to kill Caesar. Later at the Senate House, the conspirators eventually kill Caesar. Unfortunately for Brutus, he consistently misjudges the citizens of Rome and in the end, commits suicide. Without making these decisions, Brutus would not have reached his downfall.
However, Julius Caesar is the tragic hero. While on his way back from defeating Pompey, Caesar is met by a cheering crowd, filled with many people who adore him. Caesar was supposed to be the next great leader of Rome. Antony says, “I thrice presented him a kingly crown, which he did thrice refuse” (775.) He had refused the crown, offered to him by Marc Antony, three times. Caesar finally agrees to take the crown, and was planning to accept it on the Ides of March. As he arrives at the Senate house, the conspirators meet with him and kill him. It was not until Caesar’s funeral service that the citizens knew he had refused the crown three times before accepting, showing lack of ambition. However, refusing the crown may have
just been an act to get more people to like him.
Caesar, however, was ambitious. Casca tells us at the beginning of the play, “ Murellus and Flavius, for pulling scarves off Caesar’s images, are put to silence” (731.) Caesar had Murellus and Flavius killed for speaking out against him. This shows that he does not like when people do not agree with him and wants all people on his side. Brutus also says that Caesar is power hungry and wanted the crown. Caesar believes that he is above everyone else, which causes Brutus, Cassius and many others to fear his rule over Rome.
Both Brutus and Caesar can be considered tragic heroes because they’re both “larger than life” characters who have a tragic flaw that brings their downfall. But, without Caesar there would be no play. Caesar was going to be the ruler, but was murdered before he had the chance because of his ambition. Brutus made bad decisions and killed himself. So, Brutus may have the qualities of a tragic hero but in the end, it is Julius Caesar because it was his ambition that lead to his death.
Julius Caesar is a Tragic Hero Essay
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Julius Caesar is a Tragic Hero
The Tragedy of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare is a tale not completely focused on Julius Caesar himself. But is instead focused more on the conspirators that surrounded him. Julius Caesar is unwilling to believe several warnings that could have saved his life, Julius Caesar ends up being murdered after ignoring all of the warnings, everyone has a different view of Julius Caesar. A tragic hero is a character of high standing in society that has a flaw that leads to their downfall and must feel enlightened in the end. Julius Caesar is a tragic hero. Julius Caesar is unwilling to believe several warnings that could have saved his life. Julius Caesar was warned many times by many different people and yet…show more content…
That is until Decius tells Caesar that he shouldn’t be coerced by his wife’s dreams and Caesar decides to go with him to the Senate House. In the streets on the way to the Senate House is Caesar’s last warning. Artemidorus has written him a letter telling him the names of all the conspirators. On the way to the Senate house Artemidorus tells Caesar to read this scroll immediately and Caesar replies “What, urge you your petitions in the street? Come to the Capitol” (935). Then Caesar walks off with the rest of them just following behind.
Caesar ends up being murdered after ignoring all of the warnings. Caesar ignores all of the warnings about not coming to the Senate House on March 15th. It ends up being the day he gets brutally murdered. Stabbed to death by people he thought to be his friends. The conspirators are Brutus, Cassius, Casca, Trebonius, Ligarius, Decius, Metellus, and Cinna. Julius Caesar sits in his chair like usual and is approached by none other than one of the conspirators Metellus and he says “Is there no voice more worthy than my own, To sound more sweetly in great Caesar’s ear For the repealing of my banished brother?” (937). While Metellus is asking this all of the other conspirators are getting closer surrounding Caesar and joining in, in the asking for Publius Cimber to return. The conspirators know that this is an outrageous thing to ask of Caesar and are just using it as a guise to get closer to Caesar