Julius Caesar: The Quintessence of a Tragic Hero

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William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Julius Caesar is the illustration of the demise of many respectable men. Typical of a tragedy, one character of high social standing experiences numerous downfalls brought on by a character flaw. This character is eventually brought to his or her knees by the misery and sorrow brought upon by these mistakes. It is at this point that the character realizes their flaws and changes their outlook. In Shakespeare’s tragedy, the tragic hero is Julius Caesar. In the play, Shakespeare molds Caesar’s character into an ambiguous personality. While Caesar is depicted as an ignorant and deserving tragedy, he is an often-overlooked hero as well. The omnipotent ruler appears to be quite respectable socially in…show more content…
Finally, Caesar overall proves to be a thoroughly effective and sympathetic tragic hero in this tragedy. Although Caesar’s downfall does seem like deserving and just consequence, it is a much more indefinite case. While Caesar had moments of pompous arrogance, he was also greatly commendable and admirable. He was generally respected by the public and considered a fair and just ruler. Additionally, while many feared that Caesar would accept a monarchial position if offered one, Caesar retained his position in Rome’s government without attaining too much control. Even when Mark Antony presented Caesar with a mock crown during the Lupercal festival, “he put it by thrice, every time gentler than the other” (896). However, the true merit of Caesar is revealed in the speech made by Mark Antony shortly after Caesars bereavement. In a stark contrast of the negative feelings harbored against Caesar in earlier scenes, Mark Antony delivers a eulogy at Caesar’s funeral praising the positive characteristics of Caesar and disparaging the conspirators. In this oration, much about Caesar’s character is revealed thus illustrating him as a more sympathetic hero. For example, Caesar is initially depicted as a more compassionate man by his sympathy to the poor. While it would be expected that Caesar cared little for the destitute, Antony explains “when that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept” (950). Furthermore,

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