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A Tragedy About a Leader by Shakespeare

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Julius Caesar is a tragedy about a leader that is killed by a group of power-hungry and angry conspirators that later go into a war against Caesar’s right-hand man Brutus. By portraying the characteristics of honorable Brutus, Shakespeare proves that anyone with good intentions, policies, nobility, and the strength to recognize imperfections can be a true hero. Shakespeare wants the people to perceive Brutus as ‘nobleman’. In Julius Caesar, Marcus Brutus is a venerable politician who becomes a victim of the constant conflict between conspirators and ignorant citizens that are hungry for power. He is a man of honor, and he has good intentions, but he sacrifices his happiness for the benefit of the city and the people. Throughout the story, Brutus changes sides numerous times, starting as Caesar’s best friend, then going on to kill him, yet eventually ending his own life with an apology to Caesar. Brutus defends his country fearlessly, he has noble morals, and he is a natural-born leader to the other conspirators. Even though he has good intentions, he makes one fatal mistake, which causes his downfall, which is one of the characteristics of a true tragic hero.

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Brutus’ leadership and kindness for others makes him a popular figure amongst the Roman people, and it is his reputation and character that sets him as an important individual. For example, even though Brutus loves Caesar like a brother, he joins the conspiracy to assassinate him. He does this because he believes that Caesar’s drive would become a tyranny and that Caesar’s death is essential to protect the liberties of the Roman people. Brutus explains to the people why he must kill Caesar; he states, ‘That at his will he may do danger with. The abuse of greatness is when it disjoins. Remorse from power: and, to speak the truth of Caesar’ . Brutus is concerned about what will happen to Caesar if he becomes the king. He worries that Caesar will become a dictator and treat the people of Rome like slaves. Just like any hero, Brutus wants to protect the citizens from danger and defeat the villain. Caesar was mainly an excellent friend to Brutus. That is why Brutus had to listen to his heart to find the right answer/act for the people. It was difficult for him to form the conspiracy and kill Caesar, but his intentions were always going to be first for the Romans. Brutus told the people of Rome ‘why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my answer:–Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more. Had you rather Caesar were living and die all slaves, than that Caesar were dead, to live all free men?’ .Even though he said he has love for Caesar, he had to do what was best for Rome and the people. He committed these traitorous actions for the improvement of his country. This fearless act provides further justification that Brutus is a hero because he had to kill someone he loved to enhance the country he loved.

Brutus fearlessly defends his country while maintaining noble and virtuous morals. We can define a ‘Hero’ as the one who shows great courage. Throughout the play, Brutus stayed true to that definition. After ‘killing Caesar boldly,’ Brutus didn’t run away and hide in fear (II.i.73). Brutus instead left Rome and started gathering an army to go up against Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus’s men. He fought for Rome, and most notably, he fought beside his men, unlike many people did back in that time. Brutus may not have had superpowers, but he fought to save a country he so dearly loved and fought fearlessly beside his men as a true hero does.

Even though Brutus justified his loyalty to Rome by fighting for the country he loves, Brutus’ ethical morals were called into serious question with his decision to plot against Caesar. People tend to think that Brutus was the only one who killed Caesar; however, the other conspirators who helped in killing Caesar were friends of him too. For example, Cassius manipulated Brutus into the execution of Julius. Cassius only wanted Brutus to help, for his own political interest, not the interest of Rome. Cassius was always envious of Cesar and wanted him to die because he was afraid Cesar would get too powerful and eliminate his position in the senate when he becomes a king. Therefore for Cassuim, Brutus was the best person to manipulate because he was Caesar’s right-hand man, and he also had the heart of Romans. While the other conspirators were about brutally murdering him, Brutus was the one to step in and say, ‘let’s not dismember Caesar’ . When the conspirators also wanted to kill Antony, Brutus was the one to step in and say that ‘will seem too bloody’. These comments from Brutus present the question of how could Brutus be considered a villain here? Brutus’s’ No one calls neither Antony or Octavious into the question about their murderous acts; instead, they make out Brutus to be the villain as he plotted against one person for reasons he thought would benefit an entire country.

Fearless qualities and noble morals that Brutus showed throughout the play were portrayed by the senators seeking Brutus’ leadership as they devise their devious plan. Being an exceptional leader is a difficult task in this type of situation; however, Brutus’ heroic qualities and natural leadership abilities helped him through to lead and ultimately honor the country he so loved. Brutus believed that true heroes don’t need to hide their identities or use superpowers to fight and serve the people in their way. Brutus bared a lot of the blame for Caesar’s death, considering that Brutus and Cassius were the only conspirators to generate the army, which they did together. Cassius wanted Brutus to look like the leader, although he thought he could be the actual leader himself and manipulate Brutus. The Brutus we observe after the death of Caesar is very different; he fights with Cassius and provokes him almost to the point of a physical fight. He is sad and regretful; he knows that what he did hurt Rome rather than helped it. On top of these events, Brutus also experiences the death of his wife, Portia. Brutus still maintains the traits he once had, but the current events in his life have caused a different Brutus to emerge.   

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