Discuss Othello (the man) as a tragic hero
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Othello the Tragic Hero
A tragic hero is the character of a tale that has fallen from grace. He is a character that has everything going well for himself; however, he has flaws that trigger his downfall. As a result of his pride, the tragic hero realizes his tragic mistake when it is too late.
Othello is a military general who is highly respected by both the Italian community and his government. However, Iago is the nemesis who opposes Othello and as a result of Iago’s vengeful and envious personality, he plots on the downfall of Othello. Then, there is Roderigo, who loathes Othello because he is in love with Othello’s wife, Desdemona. Finally, there is Brabantio, who hates Othello for marrying her daughter without his permission. By killing his wife out of jealousy, Othello is a tragic hero. Desdemona has proven her love and loyalty to Othello just as seen from Act I scene iii.It is evident from the scene that Desdemona is a devoted wife to Othello. Despite the devotion, Othello proceeds to kill her for being jealous.
From Act IV, scene ii, right after the murder, Othello and Emilia meet. Emilia (Lago’s wife) uncovers the cause of Desdemona’s death. She reveals Lago’s plans to Othello after which the truth dawns on him that his wife was innocent. Filled with remorse and regret, Othello commits suicide, another tragic ending. Even though Iago was responsible for planting the seeds of jealousy in Othello, he lacked self-control. He was not able to control his anger. This in itself is a tragic flaw. He let the jealousy get the better of him. He was completely overcome with jealous (his tragic flaw) instead of trusting his doting wife.
Othello has a soldier’s mentality, a factor that makes him think and act quickly. This is the explanation for his quick decision making trait. As a trait, it makes him a perfect soldier but a lousy husband. Because of this, he did not take enough time to think through Iago’s lies and consequently killed his doting and loving wife. The rush decision-making traits is another good example of his tragic flaw.
In another famous play by Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare picked a title for the play and decided it would be best for it to have Othello in it. Othello, the Moor of Venice. Had he decided to use another name, the play wouldn’t have been as tragic as it was. He writes the play with a short description of the Moor and then gives the reason for his demise.
Shakespeare, William. Othello (Norton Critical Edition). Ed. Edward Pechter. New York City: W.W. Norton, 2003. Print.