Aristotelian Tragedy in Shakespeare's Othello

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  • Topic: Tragedy, Othello, Poetics
  • Pages : 2 (708 words )
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  • Published : May 11, 2013
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Aristotle’s Notion of Tragedy in Shakespeare’s Othello

According to Aristotle, the tragedy is an imitation of a serious and complete action (mimesis) within incidents involving fear and pity towards the characters or the events. Expressed with an embellished language, the play should be in a form action, and not narration played by necessarily characters. He sees that tragedy is higher and more philosophical than history, which simply tales and tragedy dramatizes what may happen “what is possible according to the law of probability or necessity” as Aristotle said. Aristotle listed six fundamental parts, namely plot, characters, diction, thought, spectacle, melody which determine it quality. Aristotle gives emphasize and high importance to the plot, which he defines as “the arrangement of events”. That means the way incidents are presented by having a beginning, middle and end. We notice according to the principle mentioned here before that Shakespeare’s Othello closely matches the Aristotelian concepts by having such similar arrangement. The story started in Venice where the events took place when Othello married Desdemona, the daughter of senator Barabantio, with whom she fell in love. Then the story moves Cyprus where the climax and the end occurred, because Othello was called there to fight, being a graded officer of the army, and the villain Iago managed to make him behave that his wife, Desdemona betrayed him and he killed her. The end of story was when Othello realized that he was wrong and had been manipulated by some people he used to trust killed himself. We notice that the plot of Othello is similarly linked to the Aristotelian notion and concept of tragedy in the way the plot is arranged by Shakespeare. Character in Aristotelian concept of tragedy has the second place in importance. The character will support the plot throughout his personal motivation which interacts with the events producing fear and pity to the audience. The audience must feel...
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