Brutus Tragic Flaw


Brutus, one of the main characters in William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, has a tragic flaw that leads to his downfall. Brutus is a good man who wants what is best for Rome, but he allows himself to be manipulated by others and he makes some poor choices that lead to his demise. Brutus’ tragic flaw is his gullibility; he is too trusting and this ultimately leads to his undoing.

Brutus is first duped by Cassius, who uses Brutus’ trust to gain access to Brutus’ innermost thoughts. Cassius is able to convince Brutus that Caesar is a tyrant who needs to be overthrown, even though there is no evidence to support this claim. Brutus then makes the mistake of trusting Brutus’ fellow conspirators, who are not as honorable as Brutus. These men betray Brutus and ultimately lead to his death.

If Brutus had not been so trusting, he may have been able to avoid his tragic end. However, his tragic flaw is what led to his downfall and it is this that makes him a tragic figure.

A tragic hero has three essential aspects: his superiority, which makes his death seem more heartbreaking, his goodness, which elicits compassion, and his flaws. Brutus is an excellent example of a hero with tragic flaws in the tragedy Julius Caesar. Because of his closeness to powerful Caesar and popularity among the people, Brutus is superior. The conspirators require Brutus’ support because of his ties to Caesar and popularity among the people.

Brutus’ tragic flaw is his idealism, which leads him to believe that Cassius is sincere in his flattery and that Brutus would be doing what is best for Rome by assassinating Caesar. Brutus’ fatal mistake was not recognizing Cassius’ true intentions until it was too late. Brutus’ tragic flaws led to his downfall and ultimately his death.

While Brutus’ tragic flaw ultimately led to his demise, it does not make him a completely bad person. Brutus truly believed that he was doing what was best for Rome and its people. He was misguided by Cassius, but his intentions were always pure. Brutus’ tragic story is one of a good person with noble intentions who made a tragic mistake that led to his downfall.

The play’s protagonist, Brutus, is a good and idealistic Roman who believes in the goodness of man. He sees only the goodness in individuals and naively believes others are as honorable as he is. Even Mark Antony, his sworn enemy, admires these qualities at the conclusion of the play: This was the noblest Roman of them all. Cassius’ flaws include idealism, honor, and poor judgment that are used to exploit him at first by then by Mark Antony. Brutus’ greatest fault is his optimism; he thinks people are basically decent.

Brutus naively believes that everyone shares his sense of honor and his high standards. Brutus is also too trusting, a quality that Cassius exploits in order to gain Brutus support for the assassination plot. Brutus poor judgment is another tragic flaw which adversely affects his actions and decisions throughout the play. Brutus fails to see through Cassius manipulations and is duped into believing that killing Caesar is in the best interest of Rome. Brutus lack of insight and understanding ultimately leads to his downfall and death.

The first error in judgment that Caesar makes is about Casca, whom he thinks should not be taken seriously. Cassius disagrees and claims that Casca simply acts this way: However, he puts on this late appearance. This rudeness adds spice to his excellent wit, allowing people to digest his words with greater gusto. The next misjudgment of character committed by Brutus was Cassius’ intentions. Brutus believes that Cassius wants to kill Caesar for the benefit of Rome, when Cassius truly wants power and a Rome free from Caesar’s domination.

Brutus continues to make mistakes when Brutus decides to kill Antony along with Caesar. Brutus believes that if they kill Caesar and do not kill Mark Antony then Antony will avenge Caesars death. Brutus miscalculates once again because he does not realize that killing Caesar would only give Antony more of a reason to want Brutus dead.

Brutus final tragic flaw is his gullibility which leads to his demise. Brutus is easily manipulated by Cassius throughout the play. Cassius uses Brutus naiveness to get Brutus to agree to assassinate Julius Caesar and even gets Brutus to believe that it is for the good of Rome. If Brutus had not been so trusting of Cassius then maybe things would have turned out differently for Brutus in the end. Brutus’ tragic flaw ultimately leads to his downfall and death.

Cassius uses flattery to deceive gullible Caesar, pointing out his illustrious ancestors and his honor. At the same time, Cassius exposes Caesars flaws: deafness, epileptic seizures, and lack of aquatics competence.

When Brutus reads the forged letters believing them to represent the genuine sentiments of all f Rome, he continues his error. The letter begins with this quotation from Brutus: “Brutus you are sleeping; wake up and look at yourself.” If only Brutus had been a more perceptive individual, he would have recalled Cassius instructing him to allow others to act as mirrors for him.

Brutus is Brutuss own worst enemy. Brutus fails to see his tragic flaw, and it leads to his undoing. Brutus’ tragic flaw is his gullibility; he is too trusting and therefore easily manipulated.

Brutus’ gullibility led to his downfall because it allowed Cassius to manipulates him into believing that killing Julius Caesar was in the best interest of Rome. If Brutus had been more suspicious of Cassius’ motives, he may have been able to avoid his tragic fate. Brutus’ tragic flaw ultimately led to his death, and the death of many others. Brutus’ gullibility is a cautionary tale about the dangers of being too trusting.

Idealism continues to surface when he does not feel it necessary to take an oath of loyalty to the cause. He states, I don’t want an oath. If our souls are not willing to bear the burden, or if we are too weak because of our motives, sooner rather than later, break off. Brutus attempts to cover up the plot with a good name and virtue on his mind. Since the other conspirators do not share his goals, he is only fooling himself. The play’s turning point and Brutus’ major tragic flaw is Mark Antony’s assessment of him.

Brutus believes that if he kills Caesar and Brutus is Brutus idealism at its purest form. Brutus’ tragic flaw is his over-estimation of his own ability to think logically and rationally. Brutus’ ultimately leads to his undoing.

Cassius and Brutus see Antony very differently. Cassius believes Antony is a secretive contriver, while Brutus sees him as gamesome and harmless. When the other conspirators propose assassinating both Caesar and Antony, Brutus states, For Antony is an aspect of Caesar. Let us be sacrificers rather than butchers. The honorable thing to do is to keep quiet. In allowing Antony to speak at Caesars funeral, Brutus shows his weakness for popularity over principle.

Brutus then makes the fatal mistake of underestimating Antony and his army. Brutus and Cassius are defeated at Philippi and Brutus kills himself. Brutuss noble intentions, his idealism, was his tragic flaw. Brutus was too trusting and honorable for his own good which led to disastrous consequences.

His last fatal mistakes include meeting Antony and Octavius’ forces at Philippi, as well as the incorrect timing of his army’s assault, which jeopardizes his troops. Brutus’ idealism leads to his downfall. His trust in others’ intentions stems from his innocence and integrity. He feels he is doing the right thing: what is best for Rome and the Roman people. Because to his ethical and moral principles, he takes too long and poor decisions.

Brutus is too trusting and he does not see the evil in people until it is too late. Brutus’ tragic flaw is his idealism which leads to bad decision making. Brutus is an honorable man who wants what is best for Rome, but his idealism gets in the way of finding the truth and making the best decisions. Brutus cannot see that some people are not as honorable as he is and that they will use him for their own gain. Brutus’ idealism makes him a good man, but it also makes him blind to the reality of the world around him.


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