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Othello A Tragic Hero

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The tragedy "Othello" by William Shakespeare is a story based upon the revenge of two characters, Othello and Iago. It is a tragedy that challenges the racial stereotypes of villains and heroes and shows how easily a noble man can be broken. I do not believe that race, except the references made by certain characters, makes much difference to the events in this play. The only way race effects this story is the inbuilt insecurity Othello carries around about his colour.

If you read Shakespeare's Othello, they can come to the conclusion that it might be one of 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 has 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, although Barbantio is described by man and Othello by colour. They say he is one of the great leaders. Not only does he possess great character and courage, but also dignity.

"Most potent, grave, and reverend signers, My very noble and approved good masters; That I have ta'en away this old man' 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;"

(act 1, scene 3, 91)

This is an example of how articulate and intelligent Othello is. 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.

"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 is a point in the play where Iago starts to unveil his malicious plan. He 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 honour and trust, and has no reason not to distrust him. Many times Othello does not see the fake and malicious acts of Iago.

This is done to 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 them, Iago is a military man. Iago’s 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 Iago even though Othello is deeply in love with Desdemona. One of Othello’s flaws is trusting too easily 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, has been corrupted by Iago, he says that he believes that Desdemona is honest, but yet he thinks that she is not. This is a part where Othello's "innocence" is torn to bits, because he does not know who 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 without direction and does know what to do, he is a man that has been broken by Iago’s evil plans.

"By the world, I think that my wife be honest and think that she is not. I think that thou art just and think she is not.”

Othello then says to Iago:

"Damn her, lewd minx, damn her, damn her! Come, go with me apart. I will withdraw To furnish me with some swift means of death Far that fair devil. Now art thou my lieutenant."

(Act 3, scene 4, 540)

Iago also tells Othello that he has overheard Cassio talking in his sleep about Desdemona and that he has also noticed Cassio wiping his face with the handkerchief,

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