In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Brutus is the tragic hero. He makes the decision to kill Caesar, but his actions are motivated by a desire to protect Rome from tyranny. This decision comes at a high price for Brutus, who ultimately pays with his life.
The tragic flaw is an essential part of any Shakespearean tragedy. It’s what causes the hero to make a poor decision or do something wrong that leads directly to their downfall and death. In Julius Caesar, Brutus’ tragic flaw is his pride — he believes himself better suited to rule than Caesar and therefore feels it necessary to eliminate him from power.
Caesar’s tragic flaw is hubris: believing himself better than others and therefore entitled to control them. His decision to cross the Rubicon was rash and impulsive; he knew not what awaited him on the other side, but he nonetheless went ahead with it anyway because he felt it was his right as leader of Rome.
Last modified: November 20, 2022