Honorable Betrayal Essay

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Honorable Betrayal The William Shakespeare play The Tragedy of Julius Caesar tells the story of the assassination of Julius Caesar and the eight conspirators behind it. The play takes place in 44 B.C. in Rome. Marcus Brutus is the protagonist and face-man of the insidious conspiracy. He is also the tragic hero in this classic work of literature. Aristotle’s definition of the tragic hero is a character that has a character flaw, also known as hubris, and experiences a downfall from a high position in society due to this flaw. After this downfall, a tragic hero experiences an enlightenment. Brutus fits Aristotle’s description perfectly. Brutus has a severe character flaw and experiences a downfall from a high position in society.…show more content…
Caesar truly believed Brutus was a friend; Brutus again wrongly judges Caesar’s character. The last misjudgment of character Brutus has is the misjudgment of Antony’s true motives in Caesar’s funeral speech. Brutus tells Antony, “You shall not in your funeral speech blame us, / But speak all good you can devise of Caesar,” (945). Antony agrees to everything Brutus tells him, but secretly he plans on manipulating the crowd to turn on Brutus and Cassius. This misjudgment of character leads to a war between the Roman Empire and Brutus’s armies. This character flaw, however, ultimately leads to the downfall of Brutus. The downfall of Brutus begins to occur as soon as he makes the decision to kill Caesar. Due to the character flaw of misjudgment of character, Brutus makes the decision to kill Caesar, which leads to his downfall. The first loss he experiences is the loss of a friend, not an adversary, who happens to be Caesar. Brutus truly does love Caesar, but kills him for love of his country. Right before Brutus dies he says: “Caesar, now be still. / I killed not thee with half so good a will,” (997). Brutus speaks his dying words to Caesar, saying that he killed himself more willingly than he killed Caesar. It is obvious that he cared about Caesar. The second loss he experiences is the loss of his wife Portia. He tells Cassius: “Impatient of my absence / And grief that young Octavius with Mark
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