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How is Brutus Presented as a Tragic Hero

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Introduction

How is Brutus Presented as a Tragic Hero | Throughout the tragedies written by William Shakespeare, each contains a tragic hero, a person who possesses heroic qualities but then has a tragic reversal of fortune. This tragic event is often the central element that allows the play to become a tragedy. Tragic heroes also posses something known as a tragic flaw, and it is this flaw which is the main reason the tragic event is brought about. For example in the tragedy of king Lear, the king trusts the wrong people (this is his tragic flaw) and is then tricked and later becomes mad (this is his tragic reversal of fortune) and eventually he dies. It is important however that tragic heroes posses heroic qualities. For example some people say that Julius Caesar is the tragic hero of The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, however he lacks any real heroic qualities, and so cannot be considered a hero, let alone a tragic one. One of the important qualities that make Brutus a tragic hero is the fact that he has a tragic flaw. ...read more.

Middle

He deceives Caesar in a way by killing him, but his he does for the good of Rome and not for his own purposes, in fact he vows to so the same to himself if it is so required to benefit Rome: ' With this I depart, that as I slew my best lover for the good of Rome, I have the same dagger for myself, when it shall please my country to need my death'. This quote clearly shows his allegiance to Rome, and how he cares more for it then his 'best lover', or indeed hi own life! Of course some would have made this promise only idly or in jest so as to please the people; but I think it is not so, for he it would be out of his character to do such a thing. An important trait for any hero is good skills of leadership. While Shakespeare builds up an image of Brutus as a noble and honourable man, we also see other good qualities of leadership such as being decisive and strong in decisions. ...read more.

Conclusion

I believe that Shakespeare was very careful to choose this very character to acknowledge Brutus' great qualities, because he would have been the last person the audience would have expected to do such a thing! Another important thing to note in Antony's speech is his use of language; Shakespeare uses short and to the point phrases, with very little imagery (in fact there is only one metaphor in the whole speech), this can be especially noted in the main and last point of the speech, 'this was a man', it could be no plainer! I think that this is used to portray Brutus' character, an honest man with no complications or evilness hidden inside him. In conclusion I will say that Brutus is the only character that truly fits the criteria for a tragic hero. He possesses heroic qualities such as bravery, honour and nobility such as I have shown above. He has a tragic reversal of fortune, in act 3 scene 2, when Antony turns against him. This in turn leads to his death, another thing that happens to all the tragic hero's of William Shakespeare. And, last of all, he has a tragic flaw that ultimately leads to his death. Only Brutus fit as the tragic hero of the play. ...read more.

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This is an articulate, fluent essay which shows a good knowledge of the text. The writer could have improved by embedding more quotations and analysing these in detail. ****

Marked by teacher Karen Reader 20/04/2012

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