Julius Caesar Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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In Julius Caesar, what is Brutus's hamartia?

In Julius Caesar, Brutus's hamartia is his nobility, which makes him naive and prevents him from recognizing the conspirators's selfish motives. His adherence to nobility makes him think the conspirators truly have the best interests of Rome at heart and are not just deposing Caesar for their own good.

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Hamartia is the name given to a leading character's tragic flaw, specifically the inherent personal error that leads to their demise. In Shakespeare's classic play Julius Caesar, Brutus's hamartia is his nobility. Brutus is depicted as an honorable, morally upright idealist, whose genuine desire to maintain nobility leads to his demise. Cassius recognizes Brutus's nobility and brilliantly manipulates him to join the conspirators by appealing to his noble personality. Cassius understands that he can sway Brutus's emotions by portraying Julius Caesar as an ambitious politician who is determined to become Emperor and disband the Senate. He also knows that Brutus will go to great lengths to preserve the Republic and live up to his family's name. Brutus's desire to maintain his nobility significantly clouds his judgment and prevents him from recognizing the private motives of each senator participating in the conspiracy.

Unlike Cassius and the other conspirators, Brutus does not have a...

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