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Julius Caesar Essay: Brutus as the Tragic Hero

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Brutus as the Tragic Hero of Julius Caesar

Shakespeare’s tragedy, Julius Caesar, displays Brutus as a tragic hero, blinded loyalty and devotion. Brutus's heroic belief of honor and virtue was so powerful that it drove him to perform villainous actions and lead to his destruction.

The tragic hero is "presented as a person neither entirely good nor entirely evil, who is led by some tragic flaw to commit an act that results in suffering and utter defeat." (Morner, Kathleen & Rausch, Ralph. 1991, Pg. #227) Brutus was guided by his firm decrees of honor, yet he was unconsciously hypocritical. He praised himself for refusing bribes and not acquiring money through dishonest means, "For I can raise no money by vile means" (Act
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Yet Brutus fails to notice the facts. Caesar had, in fact, not been crowned, refusing it thrice. Brutus did not wait to see if Caesar would be crowned and become a ruthless tyrant. He plunged ahead in his crusade. Brutus agreed to the conspiracy and elected himself as leader. He became "willful and arrogant, resembling the tyrant he kills and growing more like him as the play unfolds." (Boyce, Charles. 1990, Pg. #78) In the process of endeavoring to stop oppressive rule, he hypocritically developed those same qualities that he despised in Caesar. "Shakespeare's tragic heroes will be men of rank, and the calamities that befall them will be unusual and exceptional disastrous in themselves. The hero falls expectedly from a high place, a place of glory, or honor, or joy, and as a consequence, we feel that kind of awe, at the depths to which is he suddenly plunged. Thus, the catastrophe will be of monumental proportions." (http://student.cscc.edu/ENGL/ENGL264/traglex.htm. 11-29-99.)

Brutus was admired throughout Rome for his honorable reputation which was the reason he was an essential member needed for the conspiracy. Yet his heroic virtues that brought him on a glorious, honorable, and joyful platform ended up pushing him into a bottomless pit. A tragic hero has many outstanding qualities, creating the illusion of a knight in shining armor. However, Julius Caesar's Brutus, the knight in shining armor, was converted to the wrong side. The reader is moved for they can
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