Tragic Hero in Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
Aristotle, a well known and generally recognized dramatic tragedies pioneer, highlighted his vision of the true tragic hero which can be analyzed through the work ‘Julius Caesar’ by William Shakespeare. The story is considered to be a masterpiece of the world literature disclosing the era of ambitious political leader and his strategies on the way of becoming dictator. The author raised the theme of tragic hero embodying it in such characters as Marcus Brutus and Cassius; he reflected such features as braveness, nobility, desire to become a leader and bring prosperity being the characteristics of the tragedy hero in Accordance with Aristotle’s description.
Aristotle described the tragic hero a noble character whose flaw leads him to complete fall. Marcus Brutus in Shakespeare’s play reflects all the features of the tragic hero; being a noble character and displaying hamartia Marcus Brutus gets in the difficult situation beyond his control which leads the character to death. Having a reverse fortune Brutus had to make difficult choice being under the pressure of uncontrolled forces.
The character was presented as the only conspirator striving to kill Caesar in order to bring prosperity and success to Rome. His tragic death in the battle was caused by the character’s inability to control the enemy and save the state from destruction. The analysis of the character’s presentation in Shakespeare’s play proves the embodiment of the true tragic hero described by Aristotle in his theory.
Comparing the character of Brutus with that of Cassius, it is necessary to underline the fact the features of tragic hero are reflected only in the leader analyzed above. In accordance with Aristotle’s vision, the hero is to experience one tragic fall because of the unexpected flow and uncontrolled forces. Cassius is considered to be the most evil politician forming his strategies based on personal revenge. His envy and hatred to Caesar made the character experience grave mistakes and follow wrong path in the way to prosperity.
‘I was born free as Caesar; so were you. We both have fed a well and we can both endure the winter’s cold a well a he.’ (Shakespeare, 2008)
The features embodied in Cassius do not allow calling him a true tragic hero as he was constantly experiencing downfalls and only his jealousy led him to death.
Comparative analysis of Marcus Brutus and Cassius has shown that Shakespeare reflected the features of the true tragic hero only in Brutus meeting all the points described by Aristotle in his theory. Nobility, braveness and resistance made Brutus a hero of the dramatic tragedy inspiring the readers through the epoch of Rome Empire and great politicians’ disclosure.
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