Tragic Death In The Great Gatsby

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Tragic heroes occur from a perfect storm of wrongs and a valiant fight against external pressures, ultimately resulting in an untimely death. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic The Great Gatsby explores the rise and tragic downfall of the novel’s protagonist, Jay Gatsby. In Shakespeare’s Othello, the play’s protagonist deteriorates from a well respected General to a delusional murderer. Ultimately, these two men have many similar pressures that impact their fate and encourage their downfall. Blinded by love, the characters fail to notice their descent into lunacy. Further, the influence of others plays an essential role in their deterioration. Thus, appearances give way to reality, ultimately leaving the two men looking foolish and alone. In The …show more content…
Jay Gatsby was deeply influenced by Daisy and all that she does. Daisy was driving when Myrtle was killed, but Gatsby states that “Of course I’ll say I was” (Fitzgerald, 143). He immediately and instinctively steps up to protect her and take the punishment. This compulsive and reckless action ultimately contributes to his death. Gatsby lacks the clarity to see long-term consequences; all that concerns him is Daisy’s well being, even though she is not reciprocated about his. Furthermore, the impact of other characters is highly significant in Othello. In the Shakespearean tragedy, Othello, Othello is lead down a path of deception by Iago, the antagonist. Fuelled by suspicion that “the lusty Moor/Hath leaped into my seat” (II.i. 289-290), Iago plans to destroy Othello in an act of retribution. Thus, he plots to directly control Othello’s actions for the duration of the play. By “Pouring this pestilence into his ear” (II.iii.265), Iago convinces Othello of the infidelity and effectively controls him. Moreover, through literary devices such as soliloquy, dramatic irony and foreshadowing hint at Othello’s downfall but ultimately leave the protagonist blind to his reality. This results in a feeling of sympathy towards Othello by readers and expands on his role as a tragic hero. In both texts, the protagonist suffers an untimely …show more content…
The Great Gatsby explores the empty facade of Gatsby’s parties and the reality that very few people genuinely care for him. Although Gatsby’s parties were always filled with people, his funeral offers a stark parallel. Fitzgerald notes that “[waiting] wasn’t any use. Nobody came” (Fitzgerald, 41) when it came time to bury Gatsby. All of the people who attend Gatsby’s parties are morally vacant, not concerned about the host since they only came to satisfy superficial demands. Nobody attends the funeral because very few people care for Gatsby on a personal level. The reality is that, sadly Jay Gatsby has very few real friends. Moreover, Gatsby lives his life in a way that demanded more and more regardless of consequence. Nick tells Gatsby that “You can’t repeat the past” to which Gatsby replies “Why of course you can” (Fitzgerald, 110). Gatsby lives in a facade of materialism and upon the flawed principle that nothing is permanent. Unfortunately, actions do have consequences and in Gatsby’s case: fatal ones. In Othello, appearances give way to the harsh reality that Othello has been played by Iago. Othello believes his wife was cheating but by the end of the novel he grieves the news that “Oh thou Othello, thou was once so good,/Fall’n in the practice of a cursed slave,/What shall be said to thee” (VI.ii.304-306). In

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