The Tragic Hero In The Great Gatsby And William Shakespeare's Othello

Improved Essays
A tragic hero is a person with heroic potential who is fated by some supernatural force, eventually leading to destruction or to great suffering. F. Scott Fitzgerald, wrote one of his utmost famous novels, The Great Gatsby, that focused on Jay Gatsby, a romantic fantasist who wishes to fulfill his American Dream by flaunting his wealth in hopes of impressing and eventually winning the heart of the love of his life, Daisy. Gatsby’s tragic flaws lie beneath his incapability to view reality, which leads to his downfall. Similarly, in the play Othello by William Shakespeare, Othello, a Christian Moor, is a powerful and respected figure to those around him. Despite this, he is an easy target to approach because of his race, age, and life as …show more content…
Through The Great Gatsby, many characters experienced degeneration of their morals due to the corruption of the American Dream and the hopes for the future, particularly Gatsby himself. Gatsby, who was affected by a society of morals, was placed in the perfect position to make himself a tragic hero. After Gatsby had been murdered, Mr. Gatz (his father) was telling stories about his son as he said, “he knew he had a big future in front of him. And ever since he made a success he was very generous with me” (Fitzgerald, 138). He set himself out to be a wealthy man who worked hard to be where he is, however he was a bootlegger who made his money from selling and purchasing alcohol illegally. This is extremely ironic due to the fact that Mr. Gatz still believes his son was dedicated to a time consuming career to be where he was; yet he became rich through an underground business. Furthermore, Gatsby’s sudden collapse exemplifies how, progressing to carry out immoral acts (in this case lying to his father) will typically lead to a negative outcome. In the same light, this is established in Shakespeare’s play, as Othello loses all his morals when he kills Desdemona through his irrational thoughts. While speaking to Desdemona, Othello decides that there is no better way for him to let his love go, then …show more content…
Tom and Gatsby showcase the underlying theme of love and jealousy, as they are envious of each other because of where both their relationships stand with Daisy. Moreover, during the novel when Gatsby finally begins to interact with Daisy again, “he wants nothing less of Daisy than that she should go to Tom and say: ‘I never loved you’” (Fitzgerald, 91). Gatsby does not view Daisy as the woman whom he loves dearly but as his dream that must be reached in order for his life to be complete. Furthermore, Gatsby remains intolerant and shows resentment towards Tom Buchanan, Daisy’s husband, because he is married to the girl of his dreams. Although Daisy ends up falling in love with Tom’s materialistic lifestyle, Gatsby has continuously loved her since the day they met and yearns to relive the past hoping to win Daisy’s heart again through his new flashy life style. Similarly, in Shakespeare’s play, jealousy is shown through the strained marriage between Othello and Desdemona. After being told of Desdemona’s unfaithful behavior, Othello remarks: “Damn her, lewd minx! […] Come, go with me apart. I will withdraw To furnish me with some swift means of death For the fair devil” (III.iii 482-485). Othello’s growing jealousy angers him past the point of no return, so much so that he has convinced himself to believe that

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Scott Fitzgerald depicts the distinction between pure love and mere obsession using the characters Tom Buchanan and Jay Gatsby in the novel The Great Gatsby. Throughout the story, Tom doesn’t stay with his wife out of love, but out of status, repeatedly cheating on her with another woman. The fixation Tom has with reputation turns the bond of marriage into lies and deceit. Though he believes he’s in love with Daisy, Gatsby merely has an obsession and makes it his dream to be with her. Because he has this unreachable goal, Gatsby ultimately destroys himself in the process of trying to win someone over who will never be won.…

    • 1019 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    In all honestly, Gatsby is part of the corruption in The Great Gatsby because he proves to be unfaithful with Daisy and in turn betrays Tom. Gatsby 's love for Daisy is more of an infraction because he is in love with the image of Daisy. For instance, he cannot let go of their past relationship because he always sees Daisy as his dream woman. Furthermore,…

    • 1650 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Great Essays

    Thus, from this aspect of the play, it is pinpointed that love can cause an ardent hate which only led unto more and more gratuitous violence. A further insight into this violent confrontation is also explicable by Romeo’s link between hatred and his impulsiveness. He hastily kills off Tybalt in a fit of rage without contemplating the…

    • 1328 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Love is often represented in romance films and literature as an everlasting adoration that never falters nor fades. However, Shakespeare suggests the fickle nature of love in his comedy Twelfth Night as numerous characters fall in and out of love, and experience its euphoria and misery. For instance, the lovesick Duke Orsino experiences the elation of love, yet also the loneliness of rejection; Lady Olivia instantly goes from loving grief to pursuing Cesario; and Orsino renounces his love for Olivia in order to marry Viola. Thus, through Shakespeare’s portrayal of character’s attitudes and actions in Twelfth Night, it is undeniable that he is suggesting that love is a source of joy and pain, which results in fickle affections as an attempt…

    • 1031 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Instead, jealousy takes over him and suddenly “He smothers her” (5.2.82). Othello admits to Emilia that he killed Desdemona, and when she asks him why, Othello tells her that Iago opened his eyes to Desdemona 's falsehood. Othello was so blinded with jealousy that he choses to believe Iago, his 3ed-in-command, over his love. Othello chooses to believe Iago because he was swallowed by love and could not handle the thought of Desdemona ever…

    • 1180 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Sir Toby and Maria makes fun of Malvolio by faking a love letter from Olivia. The letter directs Malvolio to do everything against Olivia’s taste making himself into a mad man. Only with Malvolio’s folly of self-love makes the humorous scene of the letter of love possible. Clearly, the humour in Twelfth Night caused by the folly of love which is fully revealed by Olivia, Antonio, and Malvolio. Olivia marries a gentleman she has just met and confuses him with Cesario which causes her own humorous emotional swings.…

    • 747 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    This stubborn insanity causes the audience to feel sorry for Othello as his thoughts are permanently scarred. Furthermore, Othello’s love is once again displayed in this situation as he tries to save Desdemona from hell by trying to get her to confess. Furthermore, Othello’s insanity is expressed again as Othello stabs himself and mournfully pronounces “I kissed thee ere I killed thee. No way but this, Killing myself, to die upon a kiss” (5.2.375-376). The extreme extent of Othello’s insanity is expressed as he kills himself due to his in ability endure the pain and self-pity.…

    • 1127 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    “I love you now isn 't that enough? I can 't help what’s past.” She began to sob helplessly. “I loved him once-but I loved you too” (Fitzgerald, 132.) Daisy is overwhelmed by the fact Gatsby is not satisfied she is leaving her husband, she feels like he is asking too much of her by having her tell Tom she never loved him. Gatsby doesn’t care that he is asking too much of her as long as he gets the pleasure of hearing her tell Tom she never loved him and feel the joy of finally being with her.…

    • 1166 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    “That I must love a loathed enemy” (1.5.147). Juliet is saying, “why oh why do I love a hated enemy.” Juliet is in love at first sight and going against the family’s belief that the Montagues are horrible and vile nevertheless she is willing to love him even though her family might disown her if she does. Juliet is truly in love with Romeo if she is willing to risk her life and her family to love an enemy. Juliet also lied to their family to love Romeo including faking in agreeing to Lord Capulet to then drink the potion. This is a spectacular reason why Juliet and Romeo went against their family to love each other to the point where it is even argued they went over the…

    • 757 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    He is an arrogant alcoholic man-child that has a vision of wealth that will end in his and his family’s financial demise. He shows his arrogance when he entrusts the full sum of money to Willie. However, unlike Myrtle, Walter takes his failures and turns it into a lesson by taking up the responsibility of his household. His dream of making money have since long been gone and he has accepted that his American Dream has disappeared. “[And] we have decided to move into our house because my father--my father-- he earned it for us brick by brick” (Hansberry 148).…

    • 821 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays