Elements of A Shakespeariean TragedyShakespeare wrote many tragedies, which included The Tragedy of JuliusCaesar. He chose to take an important event in Roman history, the death ofJulius Caesar to write a play for the Globe Theater in 1599. The people wholived during the Renaissance were very interested in the play and the story ofJulius Caesar’s death. People’s views of the play dating from 1599 to thepresent may be very different and continually changing. Though the elements ofShakespeare’s tragedy Julius Caesar and other Shakespearian tragedies are allthe same.
A Shakespearian tragedy is comprised of several elements; twoinclude a tragic hero and supernatural elements.
In a tragedy, the tragic hero is of high social position. The tragichero has a destructive flaw which in turn brings about his downfall. There ismuch argument over who the tragic hero is in The Tragedy of Julius Caesar.
Some scholars say that the tragic hero is Julius Caesar, while others say it isMarcus Brutus. A case can be made for both of the characters.
Both Brutus andCaesar are of high social and political status. Caesar was the dictator forlife of Rome and Brutus was an honorable Senator. Julius Caesar had two tragicflaws. Caesar was said by Brutus to be ambitious, which led directly to hisdownfall – ” But as he was ambitious, I slew him.” (Act 3. Scene 2. Line 28)Caesar was also arrogant, he believed that he was too great to be harmed, Caesarsaid ” Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste deathbut once.” (Act 2. Scene 2. Lines 34-35) Brutus too, had a tragic flaw.
Brutus was an idealist, not a realist. Brutus was an optimist, he always wantedthe best for Rome. Although sometimes, Brutus couldn’t see things for what theyreally are. This flaw prevented him from making good decisions.
The supernatural elements present in the play all foreshadow events tocome. Three different characters show supernatural predictions. The Soothsayerhas an insight of trouble for Julius Caesar and he warns him – “Beware the Idesof March.” (Act 1. Scene 2. Line 21) On March 15, the date that Caesar waswarned of, his wife, Calphurnia had bad dreams. Calphurnia cried out in hersleep “Help ho, they murder Caesar!” (Act 2. Scene 2. Line 3.) Calphurnia knewthat her dreams were a sign of what was to come. After Caesar’s death, anothersupernatural event occurred. Marc Antony and Octavius were at war with Brutusand Cassius. Brutus was in his tent where his army was camped when the ghost ofCaesar appeared. During their encounter Brutus asked the ghost of Caesar “Whycom’st thou?” (Act 4.Scene 3.Line 326) The ghost of Caesar answered, ” To tellthee thou shalt see me at Philippi.” (Act 4. Scene 3. Line 327) During thebattles there is a mistake, Pindarus, Cassius’ slave, mistakes a situation.
Pindarus thinks that Titinius has been captured. Cassius, distraught over theinformation, ordered his slave to kill him in return for his freedom. Titiniusfound Cassius dead and killed himself. When Brutus finds both Titinius andCassius dead he senses the ghost of Caesar present and says “O Julius Caesar,thou art mighty yet; Thy spirit walks abroad and turns our swords in our ownproper entrails.” (Act 5.Scene 3.Lines 105-107)Of all the elements in this Shakespearian tragedy, tragic heroes andsupernatural elements were the most predominant. Internal and externalconflicts were also major elements in this tragedy. Other readers may view thefactors of this tragedy in different ways, but all the elements of a tragedyare present in this play.
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Elements Of A Shakespeariean Tragedy. (2019, Mar 02). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/elements-of-a-shakespeariean-tragedy/