Of the 38 plays Shakespeare has produced over his lifetime, his tragedies are the most heart-wrenching, horrifying productions the theater has ever seen. In these tragedies, there are gruesome ideas such as lethal love, megalomania, and the absolute corruption of heroes that were originally considered to be wholesome. The latter theme can especially be seen in the play Othello. In this tragedy, there is an ongoing theme of corruption in a considerable amount of characters in the play, the most significant change being in Othello. Othello undergoes a shocking transformation, as he starts off as the storybook hero, a reputable soldier who illustrates great passion towards his wife, but transforms to become a twisted tragic hero who acts upon impulses; this change can be seen through his change in self-identity, his burning passion and hatred towards Desdemona, who he trusts, and a growing lack of heroism.
In Act I of the play, Othello is at first considered an outsider to Venice due to his origins from Africa. However, he gains respect due to his prestigious military skills, and he is now at a high rank in Venetian society. On top of all of it, he has found true love in the form of Desdemona, and is willing to elope with her without knowledge of her father’s, Brabantio, knowledge. When he does become informed of their marriage, and threatens to take it to the Duke as a crime, Othello has this to say:
OTHELLO.Let him do his spite.
My services which I have done the signiory
Shall out-tongue his complaints. 'Tis yet to know
(Which, when I know that boasting is an honor,
I shall promulgate) I fetch my life and being
From men of royal siege, and my demerits
May speak unbonneted to as proud a fortune
... middle of paper ...
...d Desdemona too much, when obviously, that is not true; he does not have a sense to what he has done. In this final speech before he commits suicide, Othello seems to think of himself rather than how anyone else feels. He wants to be remember as a general who has performed countless duties for the state, and he doesn’t want any “exaggerated” stories of him. He may have started off as an insider to Venetian society, but now he is back to where he started: being an outsider, and he kills himself with the same sword he fought with against Venice’s enemies.
Happiness does not last forever in Shakespearean tragedies. Othello might have been the hero at the beginning, but as the play goes on, it is clear that he is the tragic hero, if not the villain. He becomes heartless in everything he does, and showed extreme apathy towards those who were the “cause” of his jealousy.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- William Shakespeare’s “Othello” is a clear representation of the downfall of a tragic hero. Set in Venice and Cyprus during the 16th century, Othello, a moor, deals with the manipulative actions of a general of the Venetian army, Iago. Due to losing his desired position of being Othello’s lieutenant to another solider Cassio, he plots is revenge in deviousness. Othello becomes persuaded by Iago 's rumors, framing, and miscommunications, causing him to kill Desdemona, his believed unfaithful wife.... [tags: Othello, William Shakespeare, Tragic hero, Iago]
949 words (2.7 pages)
- Othello is a tragic hero because of his greatnesses and his weaknesses. He is a noble man who possesses all the qualities of a military leader, which he is. He has control over himself and shows courage as well as dignity. Just as Othello is a virtuous man there are some flaws within him, these flaws complete him ff as a tragic hero. Othello is often blinded by trust and can not see a person for who they really are. He trusts the people around him even when they mean to afflict harm upon him. Through this, it can be seen why Othello is one of the most tragic hero out of all the characters from Shakespeare’s many plays.... [tags: Othello, Tragic Heroes, Shakespeare, ]
726 words (2.1 pages)
- Othello has been described as one of William Shakespeare’s most popular plays because the play focuses on its themes of good and evil, military, politics, love and marriage, religion, racial prejudice, gender conflict, and sexuality; but the controversy and debate surrounding Othello is “Why is Othello a qualification for a tragedy?” Most readers are aware of the many famous deaths or acts of death within the Shakespearean plays. And when the main characters die in Shakespeare’s plays, indeed, the readers would categorize the play as a tragedy.... [tags: Othello Essays]
1483 words (4.2 pages)
- Othello: The (Tragic) Hero Of the 38 plays Shakespeare has produced over his lifetime, his tragedies are the most heart-wrenching, horrifying productions the theater has ever seen. In these tragedies, there are gruesome ideas such as lethal love, megalomania, and the absolute corruption of heroes that were originally considered to be wholesome. The latter theme can especially be seen in the play Othello. In this tragedy, there is an ongoing theme of corruption in a considerable amount of characters in the play, the most significant change being in Othello.... [tags: Othello, Love, Tragedy, William Shakespeare]
1502 words (4.3 pages)
- Tahlea Robinson World literature I 2 April 2015 Was Othello a tragic hero. In order to be considered a tragic hero, one must ultimately be a genuine person, but makes some error in judgment that causes his downfall. A simple mistake or character flaw can bring them to an abrupt end, followed by a loss of everything they have. In William Shakespeare’s Othello, Othello carries certain characteristics that make him seem very ingenuous. Although he is a prestigious character, he allows his surroundings to spin him into self-destruction.... [tags: Othello, Jealousy, William Shakespeare, Desdemona]
926 words (2.6 pages)
- A tragic hero is a main character that is the protagonist in a tragedy and who is affected by what happens in the narrative. Tragic heroes are the type of character that comes with a bond, who are lonely, and/or blunder upon their death, and they suffer more than they have too. Most tragic heroes are undone buy their own actions. “Othello” written by William Shakespeare is one of the prominent tragic heroes ever who allowed his jealousy to overcome him lead him to killing his wife, Desdemona and himself.... [tags: Othello, F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby]
1094 words (3.1 pages)
- William Shakespeare's Othello and The Tragic Hero If one reads Shakespeare's Othello, they can come to the conclusion that it might be one of the his most tragic plays ever written by Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliet, is probably the most famous of his tragic plays, but Othello, has characteristics that, I think make it even more tragic than his other plays, and therefore for that reason, you can say that Othello is the most tragic hero. Othello is a noble man, one who has grace with the ladies but also possesses all the virtues of a military leader that he is.... [tags: William Shakespeare Othello Hero Essays]
1443 words (4.1 pages)
- Looking at Othello as a Tragic Hero "Killing myself, to die upon a kiss." Othello's death brings a sense of justice to the play, one of the main forms and conventions of a tragedy. But if 'Othello' is a tragedy then Othello must be a tragic hero. Traditionally a tragedy follows the downfall of an individual who is usually high up in society (such as a king). This downfall is triggered by a fatal flaw in the tragic hero's character. During the play the audience must have many different feelings towards the hero, from respect to anger and maybe even pity.... [tags: Papers]
1015 words (2.9 pages)
- Jealously, Often this trait takes people over, controls their thoughts and persuades them to do stupid things. William Shakespeare portrayed this flaw extremly well in the play Othello. IN the play, Othello, is a character who seems almost perfect, but his flaw jealousy is brought out but his trusted companion Iago. This trait makes Othello the tragic hero due to the fact that he sacrifices his life in good name. When being accused of “witchcraft” by Barbantio ( Desdemonas father) and senators he remains in control and courageous.... [tags: essays research papers]
916 words (2.6 pages)
- Othello as Tragic Hero I would agree that it is helpful to an understanding of Othello's character to think of him as a tragic hero. On the surface, the opinion may be different because he kills his wife and commits suicide to end his anguish. However, if we look deeper the suffering that Othello has to go through, and the way that this powerful and heroic character is tricked and knocked off his high perch by Iago (a lower status member of the army) he can be seen as a tragic hero.... [tags: Papers]
1109 words (3.2 pages)