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The Tragedy of Julius Caesar

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When people think of a hero, they may imagine Superman or Batman if not, they probably think of someone who saved someone's life. But there are different types of heroes. One type of hero is a tragic hero. A tragic hero can be defined by Aristotle as a man or woman with many positive qualities but a fatal flaw that many bring about their death. The term "tragic" possesses a negative connotation, where as the term "hero" has a positive connotation. Then is a tragic hero good or bad? The answer to this question is complicated. A tragic hero has many positive qualities and many negative qualities. Most of the time a tragic hero does something bad so to have a positive outcome. An example of this is shown in the well known Shakespearean play, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, wherein Marcus Brutus is identified as a tragic hero by the earlier mention theory by Aristotle, which states that a tragic hero must have positive qualities and a fatal flaw which brings about his demise.

Brutus has many positive qualities. He is noble, he is an eloquent speaker, he is charismatic, he is a very strong leader, he is clever, he is honest and trustworthy, and he is a loving husband. These traits play a role in this drama, because a person with such qualities would be able to have a significant influence on the common people. These qualities are used by the conspirators to manipulate the commoners. They use them to show the commoners that some that is as noble and powerful would support them that they must have a good cause. Cassius shows this when he is conversing with Brutus and says, "I know that virtue to be in you, Brutus,/As well as I do know your outward favor." (I.ii.97-98). When he says this, it reveals how he and the other conspirators feel about him, and it also shows that they have taken notice of his public favor and influence among the common people of Rome. A man with these qualities could sway the feelings of the common people and would also be widely praised and have much support to take the crown in the event that the conspiracy is successful and he were to be offered it by the senate and the people. If he were to be given the crown, the true goal of Cassius and the other conspirators would come true and they would be in a high position of power. Despite all of the positive qualities, they are not only matched, but possibly over-shadowed by the negative qualities possessed by Brutus, which ultimately lead to his demise.

Brutus' negative qualities do not seem like poor traits. They are noble qualities that are manipulated to become poor qualities. Brutus' tragic flaws, are that he is too trusting in people and that his motive to do good is for the betterment of Rome. Which, in both cases, can be manipulated against him. An example of Brutus' trusting personality comes through when he believes Cassius and the other conspirators that Caesar is truly ambitious and that he is only looking



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