Tragic Hero in Julius Caesar


Period 2


How far would you go for glory? In the novel, Julius Caesar, written by William Shakespeare, a character, Brutus betrays one of his friends because he thinks he is as worthy as he to be king of Rome. He wanted the respect and honor that Caesar was receiving more than anything. BRUTUS: “I would not, Cassius; yet I love him well,...For let the gods so speed me as I love The name of honor more than I fear death.” In the novel, the acts create a literary focus. These are a five part structure in events. The first act has the exposition. The second is the rising action. The third is the turning point. Next is the falling action. Last is the climax and the resolution.


During Act I the exposition happens. The characters are introduced and the background information establishes a setting. Julius Caesar is soon to be the king of Rome, but some think he isn’t worthy of having such great honor of being king. Brutes thinks he is as worthy as Caesar to be king but isn’t getting the respect that he deserves. Cassius, a friend of Brutus, also disagrees with Caesar’s power and sends Brutus forged letters by him saying that he is a commoners and doesn’t want Caesar to be king. Cassius does this because if Brutus knows that if a townspeople feel the same way that they do, then Brutus will take action against Caesar. Caesar is scheduled to meet at the capitol that day but Calipurnia and the Soothsayer warn him not to go. CAESAR: “Would he were fatter! But I fear him not: Yet, if my name were liable to fear, I do not know the man I should avoid...”He ignores their warnings and decides to go anyway.


Act II is the rising action. The rising action is where the main characters cause complications when they try to resolve their conflict. Brutus and his friends plan on how they want to kill Caesar but are uncertain if he will be at the capitol that day. BRUTUS: “Our course will seem too bloody, Caius Cassius, To cut the head off, and then hack the limbs, Like wrath in death, and envy afterwards.” Brutus’ wife Portia asks what has been bothering him but Brutus hesitates to tell her because he doesn’t think Portia can handle it. Meanwhile, Caesar wants to go to the capitol even though he is warned not to go. He ignores a letter given to him telling him not to go to the capitol.


In act III, the crisis begins. Caesar realizes that he has literally been backstabbed by his friends. CAESAR: “Et tu, Brute?—Then fall, Caesar!” Brutus tells the conspirators that they were doing Caesar a favor by shortening the time that he fears death. Brutus then tells the conspirators to cover themselves with Caesar’s blood, then walk to the marketplace with their bloodied swords to proclaim peace, freedom, and liberty. Caesar’s friend, Antony later joined the conspirators. Brutus told Antony that he could speak in front of the town about Caesar’s death to make Brutus look good. Brutus said that he didn’t kill Caesar out of lack of love for him, but because his love for Rome outweighed his love of a single man. He said if Caesar was king then everyone would live as his slave.


Act IV is the falling action of Julius Caesar. The falling action is the consequences, or results, of actions taken during the turning point. Antony meets people at his house. They review a list of names, deciding who must be killed. Lepidus agrees to the death of his brother if Antony will agree to allow his nephew to be killed. Antony suggests that, as a way of saving money, they examine Caesar’s will to see if they can redirect some of his funds. Brutus and Cassius have an argument. While the others are asleep, he sees a ghost symbolizing the evil spirit. BRUTUS: “How ill this taper burns! Ha! who comes here? I think it is the weakness of mine eyes That shapes this monstrous apparition. It comes upon me.—Art thou any thing? Art thou some god, some angel, or some devil, That makest my blood