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Othello as a Tragic Hero


To begin with, Shakespeare’s tragedies were always a topic of a great interest, and the question whether Othello meets the standards of a tragic hero in literature is a quite controversial issue. In general, classical definition of a tragic hero describes the character as having such qualities as nobility of birth, kind nature, desire to fight the awful fate, and struggle with his flaws. The play focuses on the character of Othello, who is an exceedingly regarded general in the administration of Venice. Iago is Othello’s antagonist. Othello elevates the Michael Cassio to the position of individual lieutenant and Iago is lethal desirous. Iago starts a malicious and pernicious battle against the legend. Othello steals away with Desdemona yet Iago begins to plot against them, so that Othello gets to be desirous and suspicious of Desdemona. He trusts Iago’s lies and wants to strangle Desdemona. He executes his wife, who is innocent. Only then, Emilia enlightens Othello reality regarding Iago’s plotting. Othello wounds Iago and murders himself. It is significant to state that Othello is a true tragic hero due to the classical definition and Aristotelian standards.

First and foremost, Othello fits in with large portions of the statutes of Aristotle. The character is noble in his status; he is a prestigious military pioneer, as indicated by other characters: “It is Othello’s pleasure, our noble and valiant general…” (Shakespare, act 2, scene 2). The perfect tragic hero concept, as indicated by Aristotle, ought to include, in any case, a man of prominence. The activities of a famous man would be “serious, complete and of a certain magnitude”, as needed by Aristotle (Reeves, 174). Further, the character ought to be famous as well as fundamentally a decent man, however not upright. The sufferings, fall and passing of a completely ethical man would produce emotions of loathing as opposed to those of “terror and compassion” which a deplorable play must deliver (Reeves, 174). Thus, Othello appears as a noble and kind man, who loves his wife Desdemona.

Essentially, a tragic hero must be one who is a decent man and makes some mistake in judgment that causes his defeat. Othello is demonstrated to be the noteworthy and respectable Moor who has overcome affliction, but by the peak of the play, he has sunk into a deadly fit and strangles Desdemona. Othello is devastated by Iago’s information: “O curse of marriage / That we can call these delicate creatures ours / And not their appetites” (Shakespeare, act 3, scene 3). Othello confronts a contention in the middle of obligation and energy. According to Reeves, Aristotelian tragic heroes may show villainy, yet this is not typically the villainy of an outright dictator, yet the aftereffect of a deplorable blemish in character that leads them to submit mistakes or demonstrations of roughness (Reeves, 175). Subsequently, Othello’s desire and inability to perceive Iago’s control bring about the homicide of Desdemona.

Finally, in spite of Othello’s certain defeat, Shakespeare stresses that Othello is respectable to the end: Cassio calls Othello “great of heart” (Shakespeare, act 5, scene 2). Then again, there is Desdemona who Othello adores. He is shaky in the circle of adoration, which discloses why he succumbs to desire so effectively at Iago’s incitement. His interests are not controlled by his sane side, and the more he tries to control them, the more terrible the contention gets to be. His dissatisfaction gets to be clearer and clearer to the crowd. Othello charms Desdemona with appeal and the utilization of narrating, yet is not able to recognize Iago’s utilization of comparable strategies, so he gulps down Iago’s stories. Maybe one part of these legends battle with self-comprehension is that they experience the ill effects of internal clash: Othello is tormented by the crevice between Iago’s untruths his trust in Desdemona, as the hero is to be flawed because of the antagonist’s plots against him (Reeves, 178). This contention then causes Othello’s destruction. He permits his interests (envy, contempt, astringency) to cloud his judgment, and as opposed to standing up to Desdemona or believing his confidence in her, he commits the error of trusting Iago. This is his truly tragic blemish.

All in all, Shakespearean Othello is the perfect hero of the tragedy because of his conceited nature and his naivety. Considering the concept, a true tragic hero ought to be fundamentally a decent man with a minor blemish or shocking characteristic in his character. The whole tragedy tends to issue from this minor defect or slip of judgment. His adversity energizes pity because it is out of all extent to his slip of judgment, and his overall decency energizes dread for his fate. This change happens not as the consequence of bad habit, but rather of some incredible lapse or feebleness in a character. Othello is a true tragic hero in the play. A generally decent man with no particular wicked traits permits himself to be controlled by Iago as opposed to believing his heart. He does vindicate himself, yet it is too late for everybody, past the point of no return.

Works cited
Reeves, Charles H. The Aristotelian Concept of the Tragic Hero. The American Journal of Philology 73.2 (1952): 172-180. Web.
Shakespeare, William. Othello: Entire Play. Shakespeare.mit.edu. N.p., 1603. Web. 12 May 2015.

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