The Flat Character In William Shakespeare's Othello

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Characters, as defined by Forster (2010:102), are not real people, but they become alive and interesting as good authors make them act and speak. Whereas flat character does not surprise us with their actions (Foster, 2010:102). Extraordinary masters of writing manage to create unforgettable characters (Gerrig & Allbritton, 1990:382). We meet such characters in the work of Bolt, Shakespeare and Coetzee.

Bolt’s play born the existential hero of Sir Thomas More, the Lord Chancellor to King Henry VIII, who refused to swear to the Act of Supremacy and Succession established from the historical figure. A character of impeccable integrity who would rather lay down his life than contravene his moral standing and risk the redemption of his soul
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According to Hudson (1872:233) writers like Shakespeare who create characters with distinctive idioms are exceptionally intelligent in the task of immortalises characters. Othello’s characteristic idiom is dignified, designed for a hero; and is measured by blank verse (Bulman, 1985:108). “The tyrant custom, most grave senators, Hath made the flinty and steel couch of war...” (Shakespeare, 2003:I.iii.578). In these lines, Othello speaks clearly and purposefully. The hero’s authority also comes across an impressive confident manner. “…I will a round unvarnished tale deliver Of my whole course of love; what drugs, what charms, What conjuration, and what mighty magic…” (Shakespeare, 2003:I.iii.90-92). Othello speaks not only poetically of love as seen in the line but also of the military expressing the nobility and romance we come to associate with the tragic protagonist. According to Bulman (1985:111), Iago’s characteristic idiom is very different from Othello’s. “Virtue? A fig! 'Tis in ourselves that we are thus or thus. Our bodies are our gardens, to the which our wills are gardeners. So that if we will plant nettles or sow lettuce, set hyssop and weed up thyme, supply it with one gender of herbs or distract it with many, either to have it sterile with idleness or manured with industry, why the power and …show more content…
The protagonist, David Lurie’s life as an adjunct professor of communications is governed by the motto, “Because a woman’s beauty does not belong to her alone. It is part of the bounty she brings into the world. She has a duty to share it” (Coetzee, 1999:16). This incentive is the cause of Lurie’s disgraceful downfall, yet he does not regret his acts. As a pariah on his daughter’s farm on the outskirts of Salem, Lurie realises that country living cannot distance him from disgrace, although his morality changes (Conti, 2016:482). Ironically, disgrace catches up with Lurie. Lucy and Lurie are violently attacked by three black men who rape Lucy. Lurie’s disgrace intensifies over the disgraceful violation of his innocent child. The act of reprisal for Lurie’s past indiscretions, “I am being punished…. I am sunk into a state of disgrace from which it will not be easy to lift myself. It is not a punishment I have refused. I do not murmur against it. On the contrary, I am living it out from day to day, trying to accept disgrace as my state of being.”(Coetzee, 1999:172). Disgrace becomes Lurie and Lucy as they prepare to continue their altered lives. By not reporting the rape, Lucy in a sense similar to her father in terms of stubbornness and pride. Ironically, by baring the fruit of her tribulation she may undoubtedly be fortunate in the near future when she is graced by

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