Othello: The Human Tragedy
Shakespeare’s, Othello, met his tragic demise as a result of the combination of fate, forces beyond his control, and his own fatal flaws. From a Classical Greek standpoint, Othello was a victim of destiny and of forces for which he could not control, which is the premise of a tragedy. For example, Greek Classicist, Aristotle wrote, “All the elements of an Epic poem are found in Tragedy, but the elements of a Tragedy are not all found in the Epic poem.” It was Othello’s fate to kill his wife, Desdemona, and then to kill himself as it was his predetermined destiny, determined by the highest of powers and forces beyond his control. For example, Othello could not control with whom he fell in love him, Othello could not control his skin color and he could not control the envy and jealousy that Lago had towards him, all of which contributed to his final demise.
Although there were forces of nature and higher powers that Othello could not control, he most certainly could’ve controlled his jealously, pride and mistrusting attitude. Had Othello trusted Desdemona, he would not have succumbed to the gossip about Desdemona’s unfaithfulness. Had Othello been secure in his own skin and had he not been jealous, then perhaps the story would’ve ended differently; but, in the end, as fate and destiny always precludes, Othello and Desdemona would’ve eventually died one way or another. For as Othello says in Act III, Scene III, Lines 275-276, “’Tis destiny unshunnable, like death: Even then this forked plague is fated to us when we do quicken.”
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