Comparing Macbeth And Othello

Powerful Essays
Representations of the Tragic Hero in Othello and Macbeth

One of the engaging elements of Shakespeare’s tragic heroes is that they are not monstrosities of virtue but rather people who are simultaneously accessible and elusive; they are made up of qualities and characteristics that we find within ourselves and other characters within the play while exhibiting an intensity that places them beyond our grasp. We come to realize that we have never known such a person (20). This quality of the tragedies and the heroic characters renders them accessible and sympathetic in a context of grandeur (the lives of powerful military leaders, kings and princes) that would otherwise be foreign to many of us. As a result, we can begin to understand and even in some cases empathize with the struggles
…show more content…
Excessive ambition as in the case of Macbeth, is by itself dangerous and sinister. Othello readily trusting and believing Iago is natural and expected. Iago has not given Othello any reason to doubt him or be wary of his suggestion of Desdemona’s infidelity. Rather, his indignation at being passed over for the lieutenancy suggests that Iago has been a committed and faithful ancient to Othello. Naturally we marvel at characters like Othello whose accomplishments are great and are the result, in part, of journey that has been arduous; Othello’s climb to the rank of General and the respect he receives has been earned by his successful negotiation of a process replete with daunting challenges that would prove too difficult for the rest of us. This is especially true considering the cultural and historical context of Othello. Also taking his virtues into account, the fall of Othello becomes difficult to accept because unlike Macbeth, whose fall stems from a trait that is well within his ability to

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Powerful Essays

    Is Othello a Tragic Hero?

    • 1469 Words
    • 6 Pages

    To what extent can Othello be considered a ‘tragic hero’? The extent of which Othello is a tragic hero has been open to much debate; the basis on which he is judged falls to Aristotle’s established view of the crucial elements that distinguish whether a person is truly tragic. According to Aristotle, a tragic protagonist is a nobleman or person from high status, who contributes to his own demise and illustrates a flaw or weakness in judgment. The tragic protagonist must make a fall from a high…

    • 1469 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Othello as a Tragic Hero

    • 631 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Shakespeare uses techniques, characters, language, structure and form to present Othello as tragic hero. He exposes his tragic flaw, which consequently leads to his downfall. Othello conforms to the Aristotelian principles of tragedy, of the noble protagonist who undergoes ceaseless manipulation and endures suffering, resulting in his ultimate downfall due to hamartia. All of these techniques combine to provide a different perception of the protagonist, as more of an atypical victim, exposed to…

    • 631 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Othello a Tragic Hero

    • 1099 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Othello a Tragic Hero Othello is one of the most famous plays by William Shakespeare. Shakespeare develops the characters into fully realized human beings, with their own names, personalities, and ways of looking at the world. Othello is the protagonist of the play. He is a combination of greatness and weakness, in his own words "an honourable murderer". He is a general in the Venetian defense forces. Although he is a foreigner from Africa, he has been promoted this position by excellence…

    • 1099 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Othello as Tragic Hero

    • 1578 Words
    • 7 Pages

    In what ways does Shakespeare present Othello as a typical tragic hero? Professedly, Shakespeare appears to present Othello as tragic hero, exposing his tragic flaw, which consequently leads to his downfall, through his use of language, structure and form. It could be argued ‘Othello’ appears to conform to Aristotle’s principles of tragedy, of the noble protagonist who undergoes perpetia and endures suffering, resulting in his ultimate downfall due to harmatia, which he eventually realises, providing…

    • 1578 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Othello - the Tragic Hero

    • 817 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Othello: The Tragic Hero In William Shakespeare's Othello, Othello is the tragic hero. He is a character of high stature who is destroyed by his surroundings, his own actions, and his fate. His destruction is essentially precipitated by his own actions, as well as by the actions of the characters surrounding him. The tragedy of Othello is not a fault of a single villain, but is rather a consequence of a wide range of feelings, judgments and misjudgments, and attempts for personal justification…

    • 817 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Othello Tragic Hero

    • 1511 Words
    • 7 Pages

    its purgation of these emotions” (Kennedy & Gioia, 2013). Shakespeare’s Othello, the Moor of Venice is set in Venice and Cyprus during the Renaissance. The play recounts the story of Othello, a Moorish general in the Venetian army, and his new bride Desdemona, the daughter of a Venetian nobleman. Othello’s ancient, Iago, manipulates circumstances to convince a very trusting Othello that Desdemona has been unfaithful. Othello, unconvinced by Desdemona’s claims of innocence, smothers her in an act…

    • 1511 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Othello: A Tragic Hero

    • 965 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Othello: A Tragic Hero? Considered by some to be one of the finest tragedies ever written, Shakespeare’s Othello tells the story of one man’s fall from happiness to utter despair. This is achieved by Othello’s fatal flaws – his jealousy and pride. Othello’s own fatal flaws lead him to his demise not Iago’s manipulation. This view point is supported in Professor Crawford’s article “Othello as a Tragic Hero.” In his article, Crawford conveys the idea that the misfortunes that befall Othello are cause…

    • 965 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Othello Tragic Hero

    • 1040 Words
    • 5 Pages

    truly a tragic hero. According to Aristotle, a tragic hero is a character of noble status and greatness. He is a man who is not entirely good or entirely evil, rather, he is a man who on the whole is good, but also contributes to his own destruction by some moral weaknesses, known as the fatal flaw. Aristotle further explains that the protagonist must be dominated by a ‘hamartia’ or tragic flaw which leads to his downfall. All tragedies have a hero with a flaw, and in the play Othello, the hero…

    • 1040 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Othello: The Tragic Hero

    • 1587 Words
    • 7 Pages

    Through extensive critical study of William Shakespeare’s play Othello, taking into account the countless productions of the play over the years, which reaffirms its status as an enduring valued text, it becomes distinctly evident that part of its ability to continually engage readers is drawn from its treatment of themes universal to the human experience , such as verisimilitude and jealousy. Society’s constant struggle with what is real and what is not in our modern world, coupled with our everlasting…

    • 1587 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Better Essays

    Macbeth as a Tragic Hero

    • 1529 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Macbeth as a Tragic Hero William Shakespeare 's plays have the reputation of being among the greatest in the English language and in Western literature. Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1589 and 1613. His early plays were mainly comedies and histories, genres he raised to the peak of sophistication and artistry by the end of the 16th century. He then wrote mainly tragedies until about 1608, including Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, and Macbeth, considered some of the finest…

    • 1529 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays