Aristotelian Tragedy In Shakespeare's Othello

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Perhaps one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies, Othello captures the true essence of an Aristotelian tragedy through the rise and fall of Othello The Moor, and his wife Desdemona. The sovereignty, and love both held for themselves, and one another slips away in a battle for power championed by Iago. Othello, leader of men, purveyor of lands, and lover of Desdemona falls ever so swiftly from his stately manner to a disgraced, dead man by the end of the play. His insatiable appetite to prove an unfound act of infidelity between his wife, and Casio enslaves him, and thus his once powerful sovereignty no longer holds true. Othello’s combative nature drives him to near insanity as his trusted servant Iago blatantly ignites the flame of jealousy …show more content…
However by not slamming the door shut on Iago’s accusations, Othello unbeknowingly welcomes Iago to insurrect Othello’s love life and thus his sovereignty in the process. Iago’s tactics slowly infiltrate Othello’s mind causing the moore to go mad with jealousy with Casio over an act that never occured. As Othello allows these thoughts to creep in he loses his sovereignty as he no longer can control himself in the matter. He sequesters his better sense of judgement to the situation and transforms into a barbaric brute. This transformation peaks at the end of the play with the smothering of his wife with the stage direction: “He stifles her (Shakespeare Othello Act.5.Scene.II.Line.84” By stifling his wife, Othello shows he’s lost all control over the ability to make choices and has overcome with an animalistic power. His rage overtakes his sovereignty as a person which formed from the seeds planted by …show more content…
Othello has one of the grandest reputations in all of Shakespearean writing, and thus has the perfect setup to be tragedy. “Again, Epic poetry must have as many kinds as Tragedy: it must be simple, or complex, or 'ethical,'or 'pathetic.' The parts also, with the exception of song and spectacle, are the same; for it requires Reversals of the Situation, Recognitions, and Scenes of Suffering. (Aristotle) Othello serves as a perfect example of a role reversal. He starts as a powerful, and affluent general in the venetian army, and ends up committing suicide. He falls so far from his state of grace which causes his loss of sovereignty, as well as serves as a perfect example of an Aristotelian role reversal. The combat between Othello and Cassio causes Othello to go crazy for power over the situation at hand. Thus, Othello loses his mind and becomes a beast in the process shedding his elegant self. Othello proves to be the greatest tragedy of all of Shakespeare’s plays as he loses his great state of sovereignty so quickly, and falls so far. There is no slow decline, nor fair amount of time only a quick ragged decline to his suicide. His sovereignty and free will is lost to Iago’s tactics and Pico Della Mirandola’s : Oration On The Dignity Of Man he explicates

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