A tragic hero is one who is equipped with the qualities of being a noble person, has a personality characteristic that results in his collapse, identifies this characteristic once the impact of the characteristic is hard to control and experiences immense losses towards the end of a literary episode (ohio.edu 1). In the case of Julius Caesar there are two heroes that can be closely defined as tragic heroes including Julius and Brutus but one of them comply more with the true sense of tragic hero as compared to the other.
Julius depicts that characteristic of being a noble person by claiming himself as a noble being and by being recognized as noble by the citizens due to his victory over Pompeii. On the other hand Brutus has been identified as a noble person because of his love for his own nation which he considered more important than his love for Caesar.
According to Aristotle, a tragic hero is one who has a trait that can cause him damage. Aristotle says that pride is one of the most significant flawed trait that a tragic hero can possess (Downs 272). In the case of Julius Caesar, Julius is a very proud individual and only accepts those positions that he thinks is true. For example he ignores the warnings provided by soothsayer (shakespeare.mit.edu 1). On the other hand, Brutus has several flawed characteristics including being highly gullible. This trait can be witnessed as he lets Cassius manipulate him into killing Caesar.
Caesar’s tragic flaw of being proud resulted in him ignoring that he is being conspired against and this resulted in his end as he was killed by Brutus who he believed to be a close aide. But there is lack of evidence that suggests that Caesar realized his flaw until his death was upon him. Still, Caesar gained the realization that his trust in Brutus was his own mistake towards his end (shakespeare.mit.edu 1). On the other hand, after killing Caesar, Brutus identified that he was gullible and Cassius had played with his mind and made him think that Rome would benefit more without Caesar. He realized that Rome did not benefit without Caesar.
Both the characters experienced immense losses, but Brutus was the one who remained alive for a longer period of time to experience losses as a result of his tragic flaws. His most important loss was a successful Rome which he always desired. He even experienced the loss of his life, his wife, and true friend in the shape of Caesar (shakespeare.mit.edu 1).
A true reflection of tragic hero was Brutus instead of Caesar because he was nobler as his actions were guided by a higher cause and not by self-interest such as Caesar’s cause to get the throne (Cloud 206). He might not have the most significant tragic flawed trait of pride, but his flawed quality of being gullible resulted in more losses than the losses experienced by Caesar and just as a true tragic hero he even realized the mistakes he had made.
- “Aristotle’s Tragic Terms”. Ohio.Edu, 2017, http://www.ohio.edu/people/hartleyg/ref/aristotletragedy.html.
- “Julius Caesar: Entire Play”. Shakespeare.Mit.Edu, 2017, http://shakespeare.mit.edu/julius_caesar/full.html.
- Cloud, Jonathan I. Parenting The Guardian Class. 1st ed., Central Milton Keynes, Authorhouse, 2008,.
- Downs, William Missouri and Wright, Erik Ramsey. The Art Of Theatre: Then And Now. 1st ed., Cengage Learning, 2016,.