William Shakespeare 's Othello And The Duchess Of Malfi Essay

1732 Words Mar 11th, 2015 7 Pages
Shakespeare and Webster embody the essentialities of a seventeenth century revenge tragedy in relation to Aristotle’s Poetics. This states ‘tragedy involves a protagonist of high estate “better than we” who falls from prosperity to misery through a series of reversals and discoveries as a result of a “tragic flaw” generally an error caused by human frailty’. The protagonists in ‘Othello’ and ‘The Duchess of Malfi’ are ultimately brought to their demise the factors that catalyse are debatable.

Shakespeare, one of the most successful and well-known playwrights in history, presented his protagonists with distinctive flaws in all of his revenge tragedies. Alongside ‘Othello’, ‘Macbeth’ was one of the 10 plays classified as tragedies, Macbeth’s characters fatal flaw was a combination of arrogance and ambition. Audiences across history recognise Othello’s weakness as manifesting jealousy, which is highlighted by Iago. Iago mocks “Oh, beware my lord, of jealousy! It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on”. The satirical metaphor symbolises how jealousy is eating away at Othello. The use of “my lord” alerts to the audience that Iago is being deceitful, because in the company of Roderigo, Othello is referred to as “The Moor” which is a seventeenth century racist slur. The fact that the monster is “green-eyed” is a double entendre, the colour green in the Elizabethan era connoted to envy and jealousy, but also signifies a cat which toy with mice mirroring…

Related Documents