Othello: Othello A Tragic Hero
If one reads Shakespeare's Othello, they can come to the conclusion that it might be one of the his most tragic plays ever written by Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliet, is probably the most famous of his tragic plays, but Othello, has characteristics that, I think make it even more tragic then his other plays, and therefore for that reason, you can say that Othello is the most tragic hero.
Othello is a noble man, one who has grace with the ladies but also possesses all the virtues of a military leader that he is. He is a general that is experienced in battle. He has shown that he is reliable and well known in the military and is well respected. His valiant personality, is what draws people to him, as it does for Desdemona. The senators value him and hear what he says when he speaks. This is shown here by one of the senators. "Here comes Barbantio and the valiant Moor", (Act I scene 3, 47) . This is an example of the many comments which shows Othello's character and personality as a person and an officer. They say he is one of the great leaders.
Not only does he posses great character and courage, but also dignity. He keeps his control even when he is being accused of witchcraft during the first encounter with the senators when Desdemona's father confronts him about see his daughter.
"Most potent, grave, and reverend signors,
My very noble and approved good masters;
That I have ta'en away this old man's daughter,
It is most true; true I have married her.
The very head and front of my offending
Hath the extent, no more. Rude I am in my speech,
And little blessed with the soft phrase of peace;"
(I, iii, 91)
This is an example of how Othello deals with style and grace under fire, when he is accused of witch craft, by marrying Desdemona. He neither, yells or screams, but explains in a manner that captivates his audience, and draws them in to listen.
A major sign that Othello shows his rage and jealousy occurs in Act III, scene 3, when Iago is talking with Othello and tells him that Desdemona is a whore. Othello's breakdown, almost to choke Iago, simply asks Iago
"Villain, be sure thou prove my love a whore, Be sure if
it. Give me the ocular proof. Or by the worth of mine eternal soul, thou hadst been better have been born a dog. Than answer my waked wrath." (Act III, scene 3)
This a point in the play where Iago starts unveil his malicious plan. It makes Othello react, in a manner that he usually does not. Othello has many qualities that contribute to his overall worth. One being his trustfulness. At this point in time, Othello, says that Iago is a man of honor and trust, and therefore has no reason not to distrust him.
Many times Othello does not see the fake and malicious acts of Iago. This is done to extend the play and also add to Othello's tragic flaws. Othello trusts too easily. Othello is used to dealing with military people and on the battle field, a place where you put your life in the hands of others and trust is very important. Iago reputation on the battle field is well known and is not tarnished. With Othello being a military leader for most of his life, trusting another military friend, is not uncommon, and therefore, Othello has no reason not to believe or trust Iago. So it can be said that Othello has a number of tragic flaws, one being trust worthy. It is not to say that being trust worthy is a bad characteristic, but to not trust your own wife?
Othello, tragically, in Act III, scene 3, is thoroughly corrupted by Iago, says that he believes that Desdemona is honest, but yet he thinks that she is not. This is a part that Othello's "innocence" is torn to bits, because he does not know what to believe anymore. This is also where he comes to Iago for advice, which is what Iago has been waiting for. Othello is seen as a confused man...
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