Othello's Tragic Flaw Essay

Othello's Tragic Flaw Essay

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Othello, a Moor, comes to Venice after several years of serving in the military. Being a Moor makes it difficult to be taken seriously. I tis like segregation in the 1960’s, white’s had luxury while colored had almost nothing. In order for Othello to gain some respect, he had to gain authoritative power, which he did by becoming a military general. In the military Othello meets Cassio and Iago, he chooses Cassio as his lieutenant which upsets Iago. The promotion of Cassio begins to show jealousy in the play. Even though Othello is not a ruler in Venice, his tragic flaws are jealousy and gullibility, therefore Othello is easily manipulated by Iago because Othello feels the need to be accepted.
Iago plans to revenge Othello for not choosing him to become lieutenant, and knowing that Othello is easily deceived makes it easier for Iago to manipulate him. Iago’s revenge did not only start because he was not chosen to be lieutenant, but also because Iago had suspicions that Othello was with Emilia, his wife. “I hate the Moor, And it is thought abroad that ‘twixt my sheets’ Has done my office. I know not if’t be true, But I, for mere suspicion in that kind, Will do as if for surety” (Shakespeare 55). Iago, earlier mentions his hate for Othello for not choosing him to be lieutenant, but now he suspects Othello is sleeping with his wife. Iago does not care if his suspicions are true, he will act as if it is true. With or without evidence Iago will find a way to control Othello because he knows he is too naïve. “After some time, to abuse Othello’s ear That he is too familiar with his wife. He hath a person and a smooth dispose To be suspected, framed to make women false. The Moor is of a free and open nature That thinks men honest that but...


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...omes more apparent after being manipulated by Iago. Iago begins to tell Othello that Desdemona is cheating on him with Cassio. Othello becomes jealous because he knows that although he was chosen by Desdemona he is not white, therefore Desdemona may actually want someone who is white. Gullibility is the key to Othello’s tragic flaws. If Othello were not as gullible as he portrayed, it would have been more difficult for Iago to manipulate him and therefore be difficult to get jealous of Desdemona.



Works Cited

Bloom, Harold. William Shakespeare. New York: Chelsea House, 1985. Print.
Fallon, Robert T. A Theatergoer’s Guide to Shakespeare. Chicago: Ivan R Dee, 2001. Print.
O’Toole, Fintan. Shakespeare is Hard, But so if Life. New York: Granta Books, 2002. Print.
Shakespeare, William. Othello. Ed. Barbara Mowat. New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2004. Print.

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