View Full Version : So who's the Tragic Hero?

05-24-2005, 06:07 PM
I think that the tragic hero cannot be defined. The hero would be whoever the reader, or the person who veiws the play, thinks is the 'good guy'. It all depends if you see Brutus as the honourable one and Anthony as the shrewd, contriving one or Anthony as an avenger and Brutus the murderer.

08-07-2005, 02:38 PM
Antony showed ambition in making himself part of the triumverate, and he blatantly lied to Brutus and the others to make his speech. Not to mention the fact that once he was in a position of power, he made himself a tyrant through his proscription, etc.

Brutus, on the other hand, showed only noble qualities. His actions were, he believed, for the good of Rome (unlike Cassius and some of the other conspirators). He also showed great respect for the dead Caesar in his speech, and in the fact that he allowed Antony to speak. Therefore, I believe that Brutus is the true tragic hero of this story.

08-09-2005, 10:51 PM
I agree Brutus is the tragic hero and in the noble mode, however, he stuck Caesar, supposedly a friend, with a knife, not exactly honorable. And why? Because, even though he acknowledges to himself he has no current proof or past indicators, he still guesses Caesar will grab for absolute power. And he just doesn't "feel" intuitionally he wants to join in the ra-ra cheering for Caesar. He has the hubrus to believe that whatever he feels has to be the truth, not uncommon amongst 50% of humanity. He bases much on his reflections, and they lead him awry. Also, he's certainly subject to Cassius, a slipery cookie if there ever was one. Thanks to Brutus his noble wife, who he accurately says he's not good enough for, swallows fire out of sadness and armies will slay each other. I like Brutus immensely, but he is no saint. Since he thinks so much, and thinks about his thinking, when you get down to it he loses judgment and turns into a bungler.

Also, a tragic hero could be bad like Macbeth, a henchman even killing a woman and children. Coriolanus, although not bad, is haughty and has a hot temper, and he's definitely a hero. He's also a Mama's boy -- part good because he's obedient, but not using practical judgment.

06-06-2006, 05:00 AM
In my humable opinion, both Caesar & brutus are tragedy heroes, :brow:

David Clearwood
09-06-2006, 04:23 AM
Aramis and byquist are correct in identifying Brutus as the tragic hero of this play. It is easy to make this identification because of the final line spoken by Antony: "This was the noblest Roman of them all. All the conspirators save only he did that they did in envy of great Caesar; he, only in a general honest thought and common good to all, made one of them. His life was gentle, and the elements so mixed in him that Nature might stand up and say to all the world, 'This was a man!'"

The other tragedies may not have a tragic hero so clearly identified. Of course, Brutus has a high opinion of himself. One inconsistency is his complaint against Cassius about his refusal to give him money when he knows that Cassius sells officers' positions in his army for the money he has.

05-08-2007, 08:14 PM
Brutus is the ONLY true tragic hero in this play. No one else fits EVERY quality described by Aristotle in his book POETICS. The characteristics of a tragic hero are as follows: of noble/high birth of great status (Ruler's best friend is Brutus); Typically a good person, demonstrated through word or deed (Brutus is); possesses a fatal/tragic flaw also known as hamartis (some of you would argue that he is not a good person but his flaw is that he is easily manipulated which causes him to make mistakes); experiences a lapse in judgment/makes a bad choice (kills Caesar); suffers tremendous calamity/reversal of fortune (plebeians hate him, also known as commoners); humbled by disaster; accepts responsibility and learns from experience; meets tragic end/often death (the last three can be found in his killing himself)

So whoever said anyone else is a tragic hero, you either do not know what a tragic hero is, or have not actually really studied the play!

09-18-2007, 03:08 AM
It can be argued that Brutus is not the only tragic hero.

Different interpretations lead to different conclusions.

Brutus is one of the choices as a tragic hero.

But is Caesar one as well?

Caesar has even higher social/political standing than Brutus does and his presence permeates the entire play even after his death. It is debatable that Casear could also be the tragic hero...linking also to fact that the play is called "Julius Caesar" not "Marcus Brutus". Caesar is seen by the plebs as victorius, powerful and generous. Caesar is a brilliant military leader and is a good judge of character. In contrast, Brutus, while, may appear honest and with integrity, he is too concerned with upholding his image and also decieves himself. He is a weak character who is easily manipulated and does have some hints of ego. He does genuinely believe that he is so great the citizens views him as equal to status of Caesar-King to be.

Caesar is generous, he pardons the conspirators and keeps them close by after the defeat of Pompey. Despite the silencing of Flavius and Murellus (meaning he has them killed) there is still no proof that Caesar was a tyrant and so was not a tragic hero. Keep in mind that this play was written for the Elizabethan audiences who saw it as acceptable for a king/queen to kill someone is they spoke against the King/Queen. Speaking against the ruler was seen as treason during those times.

Caesar has one major flaw that ultimately leads to his downfall. He, like Brutus is concerned about maintaining an image. But in this case, it is maintaining the image of a good leader. Tries to portray himself as a courageous, strong leader not easily swayed by people's demands. He tries to portray himself as "constant as the northern stars". The northen star is the star that does not change positions in the sky. It is because of his flaw that leads to him going to the Capitol for fear that he might appear cowardly. His disregard for calpurnia's/soothsayers warnings is also because he is trying to maintain image of himself as immortal, untouched by the problems of life. Calls himself more dangerous than danger itself.

People often say that Caesar is arrogant, but it can be viewed as his attempt to appear as a strong leader.

Basically, the tragic hero can apply to both Brutus and Caesar, depending on the perspectives of the reader. :D