Welles's Definition of the Tragic Hero
As the audience stares at a film screen, it is almost always evident who is the tragic hero. Although obvious, the definition of the tragic hero has no fit stereotype. The Greeks insisted upon a rich, tragic hero with noble birth, while more recent playwrights argue that nobility and wealth does not matter. The only set definition of a tragic hero is in the eyes of creator. Orson Welles created a tragic hero in several of his films, including Othello and Citizen Kane. Although his description varies from others, it is evident that his remains the same throughout his films. Orson Welles defines the tragic hero as a man who has always had a difficult life yet, is a well-known, important figure in their setting who, although is tall and handsome, is two-sided, desperate for love and loses everything by his death. Welles' Othello and Kane are no exception. Othello and Charles Foster Kane were both important and famous men in their day. Othello was a commander in the Venetian Army, an important role for a Moor. Othello was famous due to his military standing, and because he was able to obtain such a high ranking considering his ethnicity, he must be an outstanding official. He was also well known for his forbidden marriage to his beautiful wife. Kane was also infamous because of his vast wealth and his reputation as a newspaper tycoon. He owned several businesses such as grocery stores, apartments and coal mines, but he was most well known for the Enquirer, a newspaper that was often questioned for its credibility. Kane was constantly chased by the media and his life was always in the headlines. Yet Kane and Othello had to do a lot to become the important people they were. Othello and Charles Foster Kane overcame various obstacles just as children. As a Moor, Othello had to grow up with racism around him, considering he had to deal with it throughout the play when he was criticized for marrying white Desdemona....
Cited: Citizen Kane. Dir. Orson Welles. Perf. Orson Welles, Joseph Cotton,
Dorothy Comingore, Ruth Warrick and Agnes Moorehead. Warner Home Video, 1941.
The Tragedy of Othello: The Moor of Venice. Dir. Orson Welles. Perf.
Orson Welles, Micheál MacLiammóir, Robert Coote, Suzanne Cloutier and
Michael Laurence. 1952.
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