othello is a tragic figure

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Othello As A Tragic Hero Othello ­ William Shakespeare
Aristotle portrays the tragic hero as one who embodies boldly his or her culture or state. He depicts a
tragic hero to as `somebody' who's psyche/soul is developed through interaction with the society they
live in. from this we can gather that Othello is a very good example of a tragic hero he is an outsider in
the Venetian society but he integrates more fully than anybody else from his original society and
background. A main common factor in a tragedy, the protagonist, is of a high standing that faces either
an internal or external opposing force.
"Tragedy is the imitation of an action and an action implies personal agents, who
necessarily possess certain distinctive qualities both of character and thought for it is by these
that we qualify action themselves, and these ­ thought and character ­ are the two natural
causes from which actions spring, and on actions, again all success or failure depends..."
The tragedy of Othello is based upon aspects of an extract from Aristotle's Poetics quoted above. In
Poetics Aristotle expresses the requirement to create a `tragic hero' in all forms of tragedy. He further
emphasizes the need of a hamartia or fatal flaw which ultimately leads to the tragic heroes' downfall. In
Othello, the protagonist, Othello, can be acknowledged as a classic tragic hero who is opposed by the
strong force of his innate naivety and excessive trust as the major flaws in his otherwise virtuous
character. Othello's character disintegrates before our very eyes through the brisk development of the
play and as a result of the growth of the `greeneyed monster' we in the end are struck by a powerful
catharsis despite Othello's wrongdoings, we feel pity for him and his misfortune.
However over the last century the views of two critics have been remarkably influential. A.C. Bradley
believes that Othello "has played the hero and borne a charmed life..." and describes him as "a
great man... conscious of his own worth...". We believe Othello's nobility and graciousness from the
constant references made to him for example "Valiant Othello..." (I.iii.49) by a good number of
characters. Evidently Othello is well respected and looked up to, for this reason he must possess
elements of decency. This understanding of Othello is strengthened when Shakespeare compares him
with Christ, when "Brabantio, Roderigo, with Officers and torches and weapons" (I.ii.54) enter

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Othello As A Tragic Hero Othello ­ William Shakespeare
Scene Two of Act One. This scene of Othello reenacts a small part of the Gospel when Christ and his
followers are met by officers carrying swords and torches. A similar comparison can be made when
Othello avoids any physical activity telling the opposition to "Keep up your bright swords, for the
dew will rust them..." (I.ii.56), this could be symbolizing Christ's words `Put up thy sword into the
sheath' an extract from the Gospel.…read more

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Othello As A Tragic Hero Othello ­ William Shakespeare
Shakespeare felt it unnecessary to complicate things with useless information which wouldn't be
expected from the heart of tragedy.
Although Shakespeare does not waste any time transforming Othello the virtuous protagonist doubtfully
into an insane murder, but we need to remember that he is up against the most ingenious villain. Iago
does everything he can to intensify the effects of Othello's tragic flaw and instigate it to work against
him.…read more

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Othello As A Tragic Hero Othello ­ William Shakespeare
In Othello's last speech, it seems like he separates himself from the flaw responsible for his deeds and
seems to kill it. "Set you down this. And say besides that in Aleppo once, where a malignant and
turbaned Turk beat a Venetian and traduced the state, I took by th' throat the circumcised dog
and smote him thus.…read more

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Othello As A Tragic Hero Othello ­ William Shakespeare
`Poetics' by Aristotle…read more


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