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Essay on The Protagonist in Willima Shakespeare´s Othello

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The central character, or protagonist, in William Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello, The Moor of Venice is Othello. Aristotle defined the concept of a tragic hero as the destruction of a noble person, usually with a personal flaw, and this flaw determines their fate. Othello is a tragic hero with a tragic flaw in one of Shakespeare’s most known tragedies. Shakespeare so prominently exhibits the tragic flaw Othello obtains, allowing implications and thoughts, to overrun reality and show how just the insecurity one possesses can allow a person to become powerless. Othello’s actions essentially destroy him, with the intentional help of characters such as the infamous Iago. Othello’s tragic flaw centers on his insecurity of being an African Moor in a Venetian society. The danger of mistrust, so evidently portrayed in Othello’s at first noble character, leads to eminent insecurity of himself, his race, and ultimately his own demise.
Othello, honored in Venice as both a military and political leader, is portrayed as an outsider. Janet Adelman, an English Professor from University of California said “Othello . . . the victim of the racist ideology everywhere visible in Venice, an ideology to which he is relentlessly subjected and which increasingly comes to define him as he internalizes it—“ (125). In the beginning of the play Othello’s name was not mentioned, he is only mentioned in racial slurs. Roderigo and Iago are talking in a street in Venice; it is not exactly evident what they are bantering about. When they awake Brabantio to tell him that The Moor or Othello has married his daughter, Othello is portrayed as a beast and unworthy of Brabantio’s white Venetian daughter, Desdemona:
Your heart is burst, you have lost half your soul;
Eve...


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...stics such as jealousy and mistrust. Not only does this cause Othello’s suicide, but the death of his wife and other characters in Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello, The Moor of Venice.



Works Cited

Shakespeare, William. “Othello, The Moor of Venice.” Literature and the Writing Process.
Backpack Edition. Ed. Elizabeth McMahan et al. Boston: Longman, 2011. 585-669 Print.

Adelman, Janet. "Iago's Alter Ego: Race As Projection In Othello." Shakespeare Quarterly 48.2 (1997): 125. Academic Search Premier. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.

Little Jr., Arthur L. "`An Essence That's Not Seen': The Primal Scene Of Racism In Othello." Shakespeare Quarterly 44.3 (1993): 304. Academic Search Premier. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.

Skura, Meredith Anne. "Reading Othello's Skin: Contexts And Pretexts." Philological Quarterly 87.3/4 (2008): 299-334. Academic Search Premier. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.



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