A Tragedy's Hero Essay

1273 Words 6 Pages
A tale of duplicity and impetuosity, William Shakespeare’s play Othello brings to life a cast of complex characters. The leading character, Othello, whose undoing the piece recounts, proves to be the quintessential tragic hero by fulfilling all required elements necessary to be labeled as such. Aristotle defines a tragic hero as one of a noble stature who experiences misfortune and commits a culpable act as a result of his own free will; however, the misfortune is neither entirely deserved nor does it result in an absolute loss, as the hero experiences an awakening to the disagreeable facts while accepting defeat (Arp and Johnson). Othello, a vanguard of his day, is beguiled by a confidant and ensnared by the lies that ensue. This …show more content…
Portrayed as one invaluable to the state, its senate, and the duke, Othello’s character is confirmed as one of privilege and immense importance. It is, however, a suspicious nature and fear of being hurt which makes Othello fallible. Little by little, Shakespeare reveals to the audience Othello’s impotent nature in order that they may empathize with his struggles.
Evident, from the onset of the play, is the reality that Othello is being targeted for revenge, and, if the plot is successfully carried out, he will experience significant loss. Iago, Othello’s ensign, vehemently seeks retribution for personal wrongs he believes were committed against him by Othello. “There are many events in the womb of time which will be delivered,” states Iago, foreshadowing the calamity soon to befall the protagonist – calamity prompted by Iago himself (shakespeare-literature.com). However, one can argue that the unfortunate events Othello is to experience are not entirely Iago’s fault. It has been stated, “every man's condemnation comes from the development of his own passions” (Crawford). The causes of human failure cannot be placed primarily on external factors. What lies inside the human heart is often the source of human failure, and Othello allows jealousy to reside

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