The Tragedy of Othello

analytical Essay
1286 words
1286 words

William Shakespeare masterfully crafted Othello, the Moor of Venice as an Aristotelian tragedy play. The main protagonist of the play, Othello, is the perfect example of a tragic hero. Shakespeare was influenced by Aristotle’s concept of a tragic hero and used Aristotle’s principles to create Othello. William Shakespeare attempted to create an Aristotelian tragedy play with a tragic hero and succeeded in Othello, the Moor of Venice by weaving in pity and fear into each line and action. The power of pity and fear creates the upmost tragic situation and follows in accordance of Aristotle’s definition of tragedy. Othello makes the ultimate act as a tragic hero by killing himself at the end of the play. “Othello, more than any play in the canon, has a fascinating and contentious performance and reception history,”
Aristotle constructs the definition of a tragedy and a tragic hero in the fourth century B.C. He defined tragedy with a well stated sentence which he said:

Tragedy is an imitation of an action of high importance, complete and of some amplitude; in language enhanced by distinct and varying beauties; acted not narrated; by means of pity and fear effecting its purgation of these emotions.

Aristotle sees tragedy of being made of pity and fear. When tragedies occur in people’s lives it appears fear and pity is always an accompanying trait. Aristotle finds these two emotions to be staples in creating the perfect tragedy play. A tragic hero is the direct spawn of creating a tragic play.
Aristotle’s tragic hero is made up of three requirements. The protagonist of the play must be a person of high estate. This allows the protagonist to fall from power or happiness to create a tragedy. The next requirement is the protagonist mus...

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Golden, Leon, “Othello, Hamlet, and Aristotelian Tragedy” Folger Shakespeare Library in association with George Washington University,
Kennedy, X. J., and Dana Gioia. Literature: an introduction to fiction, poetry, drama, and writing. 7th compact ed. /Interactive ed. Boston, Mass.: Pearson, 2012.
Phillips, Adam. 2011. "Othello on Satisfaction." Raritan 31, no. 1: 50-69. America: History and Life with Full Text, EBSCOhost.
Reeves, Charles H., “The Aristotelian Concept of the Tragic Hero,” The American Journal of Philology , Vol. 73, No. 2 (1952), The Johns Hopkins University Press,
Seeff, Adele. "Othello at the Market Theatre." Shakespeare Bulletin 27.3, 2009, Academic OneFile.
Shakespeare, William, Othello, the Moor of Venice, “First Folio,” Edward Blount and William and Isaac Jaggard, 1621.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how shakespeare crafted othello, the moor of venice as an aristotelian tragedy play with a tragic hero by weaving in pity and fear into each line and action.
  • Explains aristotle's definition of tragedy and a tragic hero in the fourth century b.c.
  • Explains that aristotle's tragic hero is made up of three requirements: the protagonist must be of high estate and have a tragic flaw.
  • Analyzes how othello is a highly respected soldier for the venice army. his tragic fall is that he is too trusting and is quick to be jealous. he feels like an outsider in venice due to his race.
  • Explains that aristotle's first requirement was for the protagonist to be of high estate. however, othello is a highly respected general.
  • Analyzes how othello has many fatal flaws, also called hamartia. first and foremost, he is too trusting, which leads to him being manipulated by the antagonist, iago.
  • Analyzes how othello, the moor of venice, calls himself an "indian" before he stabs himself. he says iudean or judean which means infidel or disbeliever.
  • Analyzes how othello trusts too easily as his thrust for knowledge overrides any doubts. he desperately wanted to find out if desdemona was having an affair and gullibly accepted what he thought was the truth.
  • Analyzes how the combination of othello's flaws weaves together the web of pity and fear — his issues of trust and jealousy make him a weak man for iago to manipulate.
  • Analyzes how charles h. reeves talks about how a tragic hero must be good in his article, "the aristotelian concept of the tragic hero."
  • Analyzes how shakespeare modeled othello, the moor of venice after aristotelian tragedy plays. pity and fear are two profound traits of shakespeare's play.
  • Analyzes how golden's "othello, hamlet, and aristotelian tragedy" evokes profound emotions of pity and fear and leaves us with a feeling which i would call tragic optimism.
  • Analyzes how shakespeare created an aristotelian tragedy play with a tragic hero and succeeded in othello, the moor of venice by weaving in pity and fear into each line and action.
  • Describes the works of aristotle, poetics, belfiore, elizabeth, and leon golden.
  • Describes kennedy, x. j., gioia, and phillips, adam. "othello on satisfaction." raritan 31, no. 1: 50-69.
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