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Tragic Hero Essay

  • Submitted by: bripdancer
  • on November 24, 2012
  • Category: Shakespeare
  • Length: 482 words

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Below is an essay on "Tragic Hero" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

In Shakespeare’s play, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, Brutus closely fits Aristotle’s description of a tragic hero in a drama. According to Aristotle, a tragic hero is a man of noble stature, widely known, of some importance in the community, and whose own destruction is for a greater cause or principle. Also, the tragic hero is more good than evil, and their actions allow the audience to experience pity and fear. Brutus, although not perfect, fits Aristotle’s description of a tragic hero.
Brutus is a man of noble stature, and is widely known. Brutus had a high political status in Rome. He was the governor of Cisalpine Gaul, made praetor by the “soon” to be ruler Caesar. In addition, when Brutus joined the conspiracy, he became the leader and his opinion overruled the others despite the fact that Cassius had developed the plan. For example, when the conspirators had to decide who would join the conspiracy Brutus said, “O name him not: let us not break with him,/ For he will never follow any thing/ That other men begin” (II.i.23), and when the conspirators had to decide whether or not to kill Antony, Brutus’s opinion ,again, overruled the others. He said, “Our course will seem too bloody,/ For Antony is but a limb of Caesar:/ Let us be sacrificers, but not butchers, Caius” (II.i.23-24). Also, when Cassius suggested that the conspirators take an oath amongst themselves, Brutus refuted and said, “No, not an oath,/ And what other oath/ Than honesty to honesty engaged” (II.i.22).
Although Brutus’s nobility justifies his title as “the noblest roman of them all” (V.iv.78), his nobility, as well as his poor judgment, are two of his tragic flaws. Brutus thinks that all men are honorable, and this thought allows his so called friends to betray him. One of the first signs of Brutus’s poor judgment is when he allows Antony to speak at Caesars funeral. He says, “It shall advantage more than do us wrong” (III.i.42). For instance, Antony, knowing Brutus’s nobility, uses this...

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