An Unsung Hero

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An Unsung Hero: The Tragic Tale of Brutus
“Julius Caesar” by William Shakespeare has a tragic hero that is not the play’s
namesake. A tragic hero is someone who is noble and great but falls due to an error in
judgement. In this Shakespearan play, it is Marcus Brutus who played the part of the tragic hero
and not the obscure Caesar.
Brutus embodies the traits of a tragic hero and not Caesar. Unlike Caesar, whose flaw
lies in his greed for power and arrogance, Brutus’ flaw is his political idealism. He trusted
conspirators against Caesar. He let himself be a pawn in Cassius’ plan to overthrow Caesar. He
was made to believe that what he had done had been for the good which leads to another flaw of
his which is his political idealism. He believes that through the death of Caesar, Rome will
become free of his tyrannical rule.
Caesar must bleed for it! And, gentle friends, Let’s kill him boldly, but not wrathfully;
Let’s carve him as a dish fit for the gods, Not hew him as a carcass fit for hounds (Act
II, Scene I)
He ended up believing that the murder of Caesar was not a crime but rather an act of
heroism.
In Act 1, Scene 2, Brutus commits the biggest mistake which is listening to Cassius on
assassinating Caesar. “If I were Brutus now, and he were Cassius, He should not humour me.”
(Shakespeare Act 1, Scene 2, Lines 314-315). If Brutus ignored Cassius, he would have not
committed the sin of killing his friend, Caesar.
In Act 4, Brutus’ final mistake is meeting the armies of Antony and Octavius in
Phillippi. The armies became weaker and Brutus committed suicide in regret for his actions.
“I found no man but he was true to me. I shall have glory by losing day more than
Octavius and Mark Antony… for Brutus; tongue hath almost ended his life’s history.” (Act 5,
Scene 5)
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Works Cited
Julius Caesar: Entire Play, shakespeare.mit.edu/julius_caesar/full.html
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