Othello, The Moor of Venice

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Othello, the Moor of Venice is one of the major tragedies written by William Shakespeare that follows the main character, Othello through his trials and tribulations. Othello, the Moor of Venice is similar to William Shakespeare’s other tragedies and follows a set of specific rules of drama. The requirements include, following the definition of a tragedy, definition of tragic hero, containing a reversal of fortune, and a descent from happiness. William Shakespeare fulfills Aristotle’s requirements in this famous play.

Aristotle the famous philosopher outlined several requirements in which a play or piece of drama is to follow.

The first rule that is met in Shakespeare’s play is that Othello is considered tragic hero, which every tragedy must contain. According to Aristotle, the tragic hero must be a man in a position of power who is a good person and makes a mistake during the timeline of the play due to a tragic flaw. Othello’s major flaw can be seen as jealousy: “Othello has often been described as a tragedy of character, as the play’s protagonist swiftly descends into a rage of jealousy

that completely destroys his life”("Othello"). Othello is shown he is a good man within the first few scenes of the play: “She wished she had not heard it; yet she wished That heaven had made her such a man” (1.3.162-163). This line in Act I spoken by Othello, is an indication that he is a good person although it may appear that he has stolen Desdemona away from her father. Othello speaks that although he has taken Desdemona as his wife without Brabantio’s consent, he is a good person for stating his reasons for his actions as well as standing his ground. After Othello’s marriage to Desdemona, the conflict is started when Iago insinuates t...

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Works Cited

Catherine Bates, "Weaving and Writing in Othello," in Shakespeare Survey, Vol. 46, edited by Stanley Wells, Cambridge University Press, 1994, pp. 51–60.

Dreher, Diane. "Shakespeare's Cordelia and the power of character." World and I Apr. 1998: 287+. Fine Arts and Music Collection. Web. 11 Dec. 2011.

Newton, K.M. "Othello: Overview." Reference Guide to English Literature. Ed. D. L. Kirkpatrick. 2nd ed. Chicago: St. James Press, 1991. Literature Resource Center. Web. 11 Dec. 2011.

"Othello." Shakespeare for Students: Critical Interpretations of Shakespeare's Plays and Poetry. Ed. Anne Marie Hacht. 2nd ed. Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale, 2007. 649-687. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 11 Dec.


Shakespeare, William. Othello, the Moor of Venice.

Literature. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2009. 368-455. Print.

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