Brutus As A Tragic Hero In Shakespeare's Julius Caesar

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William Shakespeare based his play, Julius Caesar, on Caesar’s real story, but he changed many aspects of it in order to make it more of a tragedy. He did this for many reasons, but one of the most important reasons was that he wanted to highlight that Brutus was the real tragic hero in the story and not Julius Caesar. He had to change Plutarch’s original script in order to do this. Although in Plutarch’s story, Brutus possesses some of the characteristics of a tragic hero, there are still a few main points that are missing such as the way Brutus expresses his fatal flaw. While the murder is when Brutus made his grave mistake, his tragic flaw isn’t shown until he lets Antony speak at the funeral. Therefore, Shakespeare had to change the description…show more content…
According to the play, once Brutus and the conspirators kill Caesar, Antony is noticed, and he comes one last time to see his role-model and friend. Brutus then tells him that he can speak at the big funeral that is going to convene outside. But once the conspirators come out of the senate with the blood on their hands, everyone goes crazy. Suddenly, Brutus finds a way to silence everyone, and then he delivers a great speech about why what he did wasn’t bad. Then, Antony comes and gets everyone riled up and mad at Brutus. Then everyone goes hunting for the conspirators. Although this may seem like a wonderful and powerful story, Plutarch recounts the funeral (if it even can count as one) very differently. First of all, Antony never sees Caesar in the beginning because once the conspirators leave the senate, everyone, including Antony, flees to their friends houses fearing that the corrupt senators would want to kill them too. So since no one is there for a grand funeral, at which Brutus was supposed to make his case, they immediately want to kill all the conspirators for what they did. Therefore, there is no need for Antony to make his paralipsis filled, heartwarming speech convincing the people to turn on Brutus, because they already have. After everybody hides for some time, and all the conspirators have fled, Antony…show more content…
Although Shakespeare had to change the climactic parts of the story in order to make Brutus the tragic hero, the ending of the story is just as important because it shows how Brutus learns from his mistakes and made the ultimate sacrifice. But the historical events occurred in a way that Shakespeare didn’t even have to make any changes. In fact, Shakespeare almost pulls this story right out of Plutarch’s mouth. They both say that the second triumvirate, but mainly Antony and Octavian, decide that it is time to go hunt down Caesar murderers in order to avenge Caesar’s death. Then once they go out, many of the angry citizens brutally kill a poet named Cinna after mistaking him for the conspirator of the same name, showing how no one excused Brutus’ action because of his good intentions. But once Brutus hears about this, he knows that he is good as dead, so he tries one more desperate attempt to save himself by waging war. But that night, Caesar’s ghost haunts him in his dreams. Then the next day, both Cassius Brutus know that there is no longer anything they can do, so Cassius kills himself using the sword he used to kill Caesar. Then, Brutus kills himself as well. Surprisingly, Shakespeare doesn’t need to change a thing because the story in itself proves Brutus to be a tragic hero. The beautifully horrible ending sums up the life of a model tragic hero. It most likely made the English audience, as well as the queen, cry, because there is no more catharsis that can be evoked
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