In Julius Caesar, why is Brutus a tragic hero?

Expert Answers info

David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2017

write9,161 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

A tragic hero is often defined as a fundamentally decent, noble character brought low by a fatal flaw. Brutus would seem to fit this description to a tee. First of all, no one seriously disputes that Brutus is indeed, as Mark Antony famously says, an honorable man. His nobility of character and his purity of motive in joining the assassination plot make him stand apart from self-serving characters like Cassius who only think of themselves. Brutus loves Caesar; he is a close friend. However, he loves Rome even more or, more specifically, the Roman Republic and its long-standing traditions. Brutus venerates the Roman Republic, which was established after the overthrow of an ambitious tyrant. Brutus is genuinely concerned that Caesar wants to turn himself into another Tarquin, destroying the Republic and the traditions that Brutus so deeply cherishes.

Brutus's tragic flaw is that he is too trusting. He allows himself to be talked round by the sly, scheming Cassius, who convinces him that...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 705 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Brayan Effertz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2012

write892 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial