Shakespeare’s play The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, Julius Caesar is really close to having total control by becoming the emperor of Rome. However, when he thinks he is so close to getting away with it, his so called friends (most of them are from the senate) decide to overthrow him, along with Caesar’s best friend, Marcus Brutus, who act as a leader of the conspirators. Though the fall of Caesar from an extremely powerful and respected man to a man who’s been betrayed and stabbed twenty three times in the back and dies is a big step down, however he is not the tragic hero of this ever so tragic play.
Brutus is considered the tragic hero of this play because he was faced with major conflicts, he was stuck between choosing his loyalty to Caesar, or his loyalty to Rome. Brutus decides to stay loyal to Rome because even though his connection with Caesar is strong, his connection with the people of Rome is stronger. After Brutus killed Caesar he goes onto say …Not that I lov’d Caesar less, but that I lov’d Rome more. (3.2.15) This shows that Brutus is willing to do anything for the empire that he is extremely loyal to, even if it means the death of his friend is on his hands. Brutus has support from the people of Rome and does not want them to lose their power because of Caesar. Because people who strongly dislike Caesar (The conspirators and people from the senate) know about Brutus’ loyalty to his empire, they are able to take advantage of him and convince him to go along with their plan to kill Caesar.Brutus chooses to go along with their plan because he believes it is what is best for Rome.
However, some people claim that Caesar is the tragic hero. The reason for this is not the fact that he is the leader (well that might have something to do with it), but people say this because Caesar is of noble stature when Caesar is offered a crown from Antony he refuses it three times while the people of Rome watch, Aye marry was’t, and he put it by thrice, every time gentler than the others, and every putting-by mine honest neighbors shouted (1.2.225). The People of Rome see this as respectful and noble. People also claim this because Caesars downfall was caused by injustice. Brutus still remains the tragic hero. He stayed loyal to his empire no matter the cost, he killed his most trusted friend just so the Roman people could be free. If that does not prove someone is a hero I do not know what will. Brutus also killed himself out of guilt from killing Caesar.
As proven, Brutus is clearly the tragic hero of this play. He was constantly faced with choosing who he has to stay loyal to. He does what he thinks is best for his country therefore making him a hero. Brutus consistently shows his loyalty to Rome and Rome’s people, he wants what is best for them no matter the cost. Maybe next time you read a book you should see who the real tragic hero is. It just might surprise you. It might be the person you least expected it to be.
Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. Literature and the Language Arts
Understanding Literature, e dited by Laurie Skiba, EMC/Paradigm Publishing, 2005, 246-338.
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