Who are the true heroes in William Shakespeare’s tragic drama Othello? What is their perspective on making deep sacrifice for what they believe in? Let’s find the heroes and analyze their perspective on suffering voluntarily.
Helen Gardner in “Othello: A Tragedy of Beauty and Fortune” considers Iago’s wife Emilia to be a true hero of the play because of her fearless outlook on death itself:
Emilia’s silence while her mistress lived is fully explicable in terms of her character. She shares with her husband the generalizing trick and is well used to domestic scenes. The jealous, she knows,
are not ever jealous for the cause
But jealous for they are jealous.
If it was not the handkerchief it would be something else. Why disobey her husband and risk his fury? It would not do any good. This is what men are like. But Desdemona dead sweeps away all such generalities and all caution. At this sight, Emilia though ‘the world is a huge thing’ finds that there is a thing she will not do for it. By her heroic disregard for death she gives the only ‘proof’ there can be of Desdemona’s innocence: the testimony of faith. (145)
At the outset of the play Iago persuades the rejected suitor of Desdemona, Roderigo, to accompany him to the home of Brabantio, Desdemona’s father, in the middle of the night. Once there the two awaken the senator with loud shouts about his daughter’s elopement with Othello. In response to the noise and Iago’s vulgar descriptions of Desdemona’s involvement with the general, Brabantio arises from bed and, with Roderigo’s help, gathers a search party to go and find Desdemona. Once that Brabantio has located Othello, the general stands wit...
... middle of paper ...
...lling her. She dies an unsung heroine of the play, giving her life for what she believes in, namely the innocence of her lady and the guilt of her husband. The abrupt change in her character toward the end of the play is a pleasant surprise.
Despondent Othello, grief-stricken by remorse for the tragic mistake he has made, acts heroically, following the example of Emilia. He stabs himself and dies on the bed next to the one he has wronged.
Gardner, Helen. “Othello: A Tragedy of Beauty and Fortune.” Readings on The Tragedies. Ed. Clarice Swisher. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1996. Reprint from “The Noble Moor.” British Academy Lectures, no. 9, 1955.
Shakespeare, William. Othello. In The Electric Shakespeare. Princeton University. 1996. http://www.eiu.edu/~multilit/studyabroad/othello/othello_all.html No line nos.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Heroism in Othello Who are the true heroes in William Shakespeare’s tragic drama Othello. What is their perspective on making deep sacrifice for what they believe in. Let’s find the heroes and analyze their perspective on suffering voluntarily. Helen Gardner in “Othello: A Tragedy of Beauty and Fortune” considers Iago’s wife Emilia to be a true hero of the play because of her fearless outlook on death itself: Emilia’s silence while her mistress lived is fully explicable in terms of her character.... [tags: Othello essays]
1628 words (4.7 pages)
- Othello’s Heroism Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello treats the audience to considerable heroism, not only from the hero and heroine but also from unexpected characters. Kenneth Muir, in the Introduction to William Shakespeare: Othello, explains how the consensus of the characters in the drama testify to the heroism of the general: The testimony of all the main characters in the play is decisive. Brabantio loved him; Lodovico speaks of him as ‘the noble Moor’ ‘once so good’; Cassio, who has good cause to hate him, addresses him as ‘Dear General’ and speaks his epitaph: ‘he was great of heart’.... [tags: Othello essays]
2164 words (6.2 pages)
- Tragic Heroism in Tess of the D'Urbervilles and Othello In tragedy the reader often sympathizes and empathizes with the protagonist who attains "wisdom through suffering." Tess Durbeyfield, in Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles and Othello, in William Shakespeare's Othello are protagonists who elicit the sympathy of the reader as they suffer, act, and triumph over their antagonists, who are embodied by the characters of Alec D'Urberville, Tess' wealthy defiler, and Iago, Othello's amoral lieutenant.... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
579 words (1.7 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)
- 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)
- Othello: the General The character of the Moor in William Shakespeare’s tragic drama Othello is noble to the point of heroism, but unfortunately also gullible and susceptible to the sinister, destructive genius of his ancient Iago. The most radical change during the course of the drama is undergone by the protagonist, the Moor. Robert Di Yanni in “Character Revealed Through Dialogue” states that the deteriorated transformation which Othello undergoes is noticeable in his speech: Othello’s language, like Iago’s, reveals his character and his decline from a courageous and confident leader to a jealous lover distracted to madness by Iago’s insinuations about his wife’s infidelity.... [tags: Othello essays]
1706 words (4.9 pages)
- Heroic Virtue in Othello William Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello puts on exhibit an obvious hero and other not-so-obvious heroes. Let us examine them all in this essay. The supreme type of hero in this play did not occur overnight to the playwright. Rather he slowly built upon one hero after another in his plays until his work culminated in the Moor. A. C. Bradley, in his book of literary criticism, Shakespearean Tragedy, describes the development of the Shakespearean super-hero in Othello: And with this change goes another, an enlargement in the stature of the hero.... [tags: Othello essays]
1947 words (5.6 pages)
- What are some of the first themes that come to mind when thinking of Othello. Perhaps a theme that comes to mind is treachery, exploitation, envy, or even racism. What about love versus war. What about the fact that Othello was a soldier who was not able to balance his war love with his love life. Othello is a military general who has a long experience of war as well as a long experience of victories. He has spent most of his life defending Venice due to his strong will, his love for the city, and for his hate of defeat.... [tags: them analysis]
684 words (2 pages)
- "Othello" "Othello" was written by one most influential writer in all of English literature, William Shakespeare during his great tragic period. Othello is set against the backdrop of the wars between Venice and Turkey that raged in the latter part of the sixteenth century. The subject of Othello is "Love and Death", while the theme suggests "The Incompatibility of Military Heroism & Love". "Othello" consisted of three major characters including: Othello, Desdemona, and Iago, each of which play a key role in the play.... [tags: essays research papers]
458 words (1.3 pages)
- The play, Othello was written by William Shakespeare in the later years of his career. Giraldi Cinthios, Tale of a Moor, based Othello on a story that was a mellow Drama, about a moor and his doubts about his wife’s fidelity. In Shakespeare’s play the Moor (Othello) convinced by his jealous aid (Iago) that his wife (Desdemona) is not Being faithful. Iago’s jealousy is motivated by his anger when he learns that Cassio of Florentine has been appointed Governor of Cyprus. He felt that he deserved this promotion and vowed to seek revenge against Othello.... [tags: essays research papers]
864 words (2.5 pages)