Othello Is Essentially an Noble Character, Flawed by Insecurity and a Nature That Is Naive and Unsophisticated

Topics: Othello, William Shakespeare, Tragedy Pages: 3 (1054 words) Published: October 28, 2007
"Othello is essentially an noble character, flawed by insecurity and a nature that is naive and unsophisticated". Looking at William Shakespeare's Othello The Moor Of Venice, the central character, Othello is revered as the tragic hero. He is a character of high stature that 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 exhibited by all of the participants. Othello is first shown as a hero of war and a man of great pride and courage. As the play continues, his character begins to deteriorate and become less noble. Chronologically through the play, Othello's character changes from a flawless military leader, to a murderer. He has certain traits which make him seem naive and unsophisticated compared to his surrounding society.

Othello is depicted as an outsider from the beginning of the play. Within the opening lines of the play, we see how Othello is distanced from much of the action that concerns and affects him. He is ambiguously referred to as "he" or "him" by Roderigo and Iago for much of the first scene and when they do begin to specify just who they are talking about, they use racial epithets, not names. As the two stand beneath Brabantios window, they refer to Othello as "the Moor" (I.i.57), "the thick-lips" (I.i.66), "an old black ram" (I.i.88), and "a Barbary horse" (I.i.113). These comments stand Othello apart from the surrounding Venetian society and immediately alienate him. Because of this isolation, Othello can be perceived to be extremely insecure. Factors such as his age, his life as a soldier, and his self-consciousness about being a racial and cultural outsider, simply play on his unsureness of self and also...

Bibliography: Bradley, A. C. Shakespearean Tragedy: Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth, 2nd ed. London: Macmillan, 1905.
E.A.J. Honigmann, ed. Othello. London: Thomas Nelson, 1997
J, Coles, ed. Othello. London; Cambridge University Press, 1992, 2005
J, Hylton, 1993, ‘Othello, the Moore of Venice ' The Complete Works of William Shakespeare [online], http://shakespeare.mit.edu/othello/index.html, accessed 15th march, 2006
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