The Importance Of Love And Respect : William Shakespeare 's Othello And Chinua Achebe 's Things Fall Apart
In the year 1603, William Shakespeare wrote Othello. More than three hundred years later, in 1958, Chinua Achebe wrote Things Fall Apart. The main characters of each literary piece share many similarities, despite coming from such different times in history. Othello of Shakespeare’s Othello and Okonkwo of Achebe’s Things Fall Apart explore all aspects of the human personality.
The similarities between the two men are very prominent. Pride is a tragic flaw in both Shakespeare’s Othello and Achebe’s Okonkwo. Likewise, both characters are African-American, subjecting them to racial discrimination and categorization. Othello and Okonkwo are easily angered and often blow up entirely. This gives them a unique style of leading, especially in battle, where they are both great warriors for their people. Also, in the end of their respective literary works, both Okonkwo and Othello commit suicide.
Okonkwo is arrogant and an unwavering traditionalist. In the end, “Okonkwo fails because he is not a leader of his people whose mores he breaks, whose wise counsel he does not seek, whose cautions he squanders,” (Nnolim 3). His traditionalist views and unwillingness to accept change ultimately led to his downfall when he killed the white man at the end of the novel. He treats most women like slaves or property, as is the norm of his culture; yet, there seems to be a special place in his heart for one of his wives, Ekwefi, and their daughter,…