Julius Caesar Tragic Hero Essay

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“Julius Caesar” written by William Shakespeare, documents a conspiracy and the impact it has on those involved. Critics quarrel over the tragic hero of the play. Is it Brutus or Caesar? According to Aristotle, a tragic hero is a man that rises to a high position only to fall from it- usually to utter desolation or death. Two forces are equally powerful in classical tragedy: the hero’s tragic flaw and the influence of fate. Due to the fact that Brutus rises to power, his tragic flaw results in his fate, and he falls from his high position to death, he is, by definition, a more suitable character to be considered a tragic hero. Brutus best fits the definition of a tragic hero because he rises to power while Caesar does not. Shakespeare notes,…show more content…
His fate is sealed from the time he decides to trust Cassius and join the conspiracy. The author writes, “’Give your hands all over one by one. /and let us swear our resolution” (2.1. 118-19). Swearing into the conspiracy brings turmoil rather than peace to Brutus’ life. Although he is honorable and concerned for Rome and it’s best interests, he still is subjected to the wretched fate that comes as a result of his fatal flaw. Shakespeare notes, “’And for Mark Antony, thinks not of him,/For he can do no more than Caesar’s arm/When Caesar’s head is off’”(2.1. 188-90). Brutus allows Antony to speak at Caesar’s funeral because he believes that Antony is weak and can do nothing without Caesar. He does not fear him and thinks he will abide by all of the expected rules. Antony is more intelligent that Brutus would like to think. Antony presents his speech and the people immediately side with him. Not only do the people shift their views, but they also become angered by the conspirators’ actions. Antony winning over the people due to Brutus not realizing that he is a force to be reckoned with, leads to the battle between them. Brutus trusting Antony results in his fate which concludes with his

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