Shakespeare's tragic hero, Othello, was a man whose gifts far outnumbered his weaknesses. On the battlefield, he was accomplished; in his profession, he was highly ranked; and, in his life, he was blissfully married. Despite these great advantages, however, Othello's destiny was ruin. Everything he had so carefully made for himself would be destroyed by one flaw: his fear of remaining an outsider. He feared this fate, yet he harped on it continuously, tearing himself between his identity as a foreigner and his desire to live as a normal citizen. Even so far back as his first public speech, perturbations caused by this internal unrest surfaced, and it was unrest that would ultimately lead to his horrible and complete undoing.
Othello's first speech is an address to the Venetian council, through which he introduces himself to the council members. Brabantio, Desdemona's angered father, has accused Othello of bewitching his daughter and stealing her away into marriage, and Othello is defending himself against these charges. To start his case, he begins thusly, "Most potent, grave, and reverend signors, / My very noble and approved good masters, / That I have ta'en away this old man's daughter, / It is most true; true I have married her" (page 19). Just by itself, this is perhaps the most poetic stanza of the play to this point, yet he continues it in short order with, "...Rude am I in my speech, / And little blessed with the soft phrase of peace" (page 19). Now, only seven lines into Othello's first public text, he has already made use of his outsider status. By humbling himself amidst spectacular oration, he is appearing non-threatening to the judges, while still making a great case. T...
... middle of paper ...
... true; true I have married her.
The very head and front of my offending
Hath this extent, no more. Rude am I in my speech,
And little blessed with the soft phrase of peace;
For since these arms of mine had seven years' pith
Till now some nine moons wasted, they have used
Their dearest action in the tented field;
And little of this great world can I speak
More than pertains to feats of broils and battle;
And therefore little shall I grace my cause
In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,
I will a round unvarnished tale deliver
Of my whole course of love - what drugs, what charms,
What conjuration, and what mighty magic
(For such proceeding I am charged withal)
I won his daughter.
The Tragedy of Othello the Moor of Venice, William Shakespeare, I.III.76-94
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- In any story with a recurring dark theme there always must be an outsider from humanity who somehow stands out from the seemingly equal community. In the case of Shakespeare’s Othello the outsider from humanity would be Iago for he truly stands out from the rest of society. Although Othello may be physically put out of the community, it seems that on an emotional and egotistical level Iago puts himself out of society further then Othello’s blackness does. He is not merely manipulative, as other villains are; he turns aspects of truth and good qualities, which he does not possess, and uses them as weakness for his own scheme.... [tags: essays research papers]
1757 words (5 pages)
- Othello, the Moor of Venice published in 1622 by William Shakespeare, one of the greatest writers known in English literature. Othello has been said to be of the most touching and intimate of Shakespeare tragedies. The source of Othello comes from Girald Cirthio’s Tall of the Moor, considering the modification of a few details, this was a manifestation of Shakespeare’s ability to take a reputable story and elevate it into poetic tragedy (Cahn 106). Othello is the story of love, deception, and power.... [tags: othello]
806 words (2.3 pages)
- 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.... [tags: Othello Essays]
1286 words (3.7 pages)
- Some critics discuss the breakdown in sympathy for Othello during the 20th Century. Do you agree that this is the case and does it apply to Giovanni. As defined by Aristotle in his analysis of tragedy, an audience must experience a sense of catharsis to be affected by a tragedy, meaning it is key that sympathy is felt for the tragic hero or the tragedy will be ineffectual. What makes Othello a successful tragedy is the way that Shakespeare establishes pity for Othello throughtout the play, even in his lowest moments as a character, and it is the lack of this in Tis Pity She’s A Whore that means the audience loses any sense of pathos by the end of the play.... [tags: Othello Essays]
1976 words (5.6 pages)
- In the play “The Tragedy of Othello” by Willian Shakespeare, Othello Changes from an intelligent and confident person to a senseless and insecure person. This change in his personality occurs mainly because: Iago plans to ruin his relationship with Desdemona, he was an Outsider, he had bad judgement when it came to trusting people and failed to see reality, his negative thinking about himself and his relationship with Desdemona. Iago is a very strategic and clever person, and he despises Othello because Othello appointed Cassio as a lieutenant over Iago.... [tags: Othello, Iago, Brabantio, Desdemona]
2005 words (5.7 pages)
- The play Othello, written by William Shakespeare, is a tragic play that goes over a variety of topics, from love to death. Othello is a tragic play due to its many aspects of death throughout it. One character that falls to the hands of death is one of the main characters, Othello, and another being his wife Desdemona. Each of these deaths are a direct cause of another character’s actions, Iago. Within the play there are scenes of manipulation, betrayal, jealousy, lust, deceit, and murder. This play, Othello, contains many characters that have important roles to the development of the play and the plots that occur.... [tags: Othello, Iago, Tragedy, Character]
1215 words (3.5 pages)
- Othello 's race does not greatly influence his downfall in the play. He maintains that while Shakespeare touches upon the issue of race, the cause of Othello 's demise lies elsewhere. However, the implications of race in the play directly lead to its tragic ending; it is this issue that impels the characters to set the tragedy in motion. Brabantio would agree to the union of Othello and Desdemona if it were not for Othello 's blackness. Roderigo could never be motivated to pursue Desdemona were it not for his belief that their relationship is unnatural.... [tags: Othello, Racism, Iago, Desdemona]
2193 words (6.3 pages)
- The Character of Othello Shakespeare's Othello is not simply a play which embodies the conflict between insider and outsider. The paradigm of otherness presented in this play is more complicated than the conclusion, "Othello is different; therefore, he is bad." Othello's character is to be revered. He is a champion among warriors; an advisor among councilmen; a Moor among Venetians. Yes, Othello is a Moor, but within the initial configuration of the play, this fact is almost irrelevant.... [tags: GCSE Coursework Shakespeare Othello]
2133 words (6.1 pages)
- Racism in William Shakespeare's Othello The play, Othello, is certainly, in part, the tragedy of racism. Examples of racism are common throughout the dialog. This racism is directed toward Othello, a brave soldier from Africa and currently supreme commander of the Venetian army. Nearly every character uses a racial slur to insult Othello at one point in the play. Even Emilia sinks to the level of insulting Othello based on the color of his skin. The character that most commonly makes racist remarks in Othello is Iago.... [tags: Othello essays Shakespeare]
1065 words (3 pages)
- Character Analysis of Othello “Othello” is a tragedy and Othello is a tragic hero. Othello is a general in the service of Venice. He is good, courageous, brave and trustworthy. However he has some weaknesses such as insecurity; he is too open, naïve, and gullible, Iago plays on his weaknesses which brings about his downfall and he kills himself. This causes the suffering of innocent people like Desdemona, Emilia, Cassio and Roderigo. The audience also feel pity for Othello and this creates a sense of wastage at the end.... [tags: Papers Shakespeare Essays Othello]
1660 words (4.7 pages)