Julius Caesar Hero

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In The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, the playwright, William Shakespeare, captures the essence of a tragic hero with the main protagonist, Marcus Junius Brutus. To earn the title “tragic hero,” a character must conform to several prerequisites. Qualifications include the fact that a tragic hero must have a fatal flaw, an error of judgement, a harsh fate resulting from his or her judgement, a story that invokes fear and empathy, a tragic deed done to someone close, and a tragic hero must be ordinary, neither distinctively good nor bad. In the case of Brutus, his character achieves most, if not all of these requirements; therefore, he is the epitome of a “tragic hero”.

The play depicts Brutus as an ethical and noble person. Throughout the play,
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He has to decide if his loyalty belongs to his friend or to his country. In the end, Brutus chooses to side with the conspirators and assassinate Caesar for the benefit of Rome. This poor decision ultimately leads to much suffering and eventually his inevitable demise. In summary, Brutus fulfills yet another prerequisite required of a tragic hero by making a misjudgment that results in a harsh fate.

A further requirement that Brutus accomplishes is that the hero’s tragic deed has to be done “within the family”(On the Art of Poetry). In consonance with history, it is known that the relationship between Brutus and Caesar somewhat resembled that of a father and a son. Some have taken this idea further by deducing that Brutus was the illegitimate son of Caesar. Thus, this close relationship between the two characters increases the likelihood of a catharsis when Brutus decides to accompany the conspirators and assassinate Caesar.

The main trait of a tragic hero is that the hero’s story must provoke a catharsis. Pity and fear are both invoked in the audience throughout several instances of the play. Fear is conveyed when the audience witnesses the ambivalence Brutus struggles with. Those reading or watching the play fear having to ever undergo this inner

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