William Shakespeare's Othello Essay

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William Shakespeare's Othello

Shakespeare's Othello is a tragedy. The plays events charter the downfall of Othello, the plays hero. Othello is a typical tragedy in which the noble, honourable and virtuous Moor suffers a social downfall. It is typical of tragic characters to suffer because it is their fate, their pre determined destiny. This view means that Othello could have done nothing to prevent his fall from grace, however other readers argue that it is Othello's character which leads to the destruction of his character.

If it were fate that was responsible for Othello's demise then Othello is a conservative text. It is made obvious from the beginning of the play that Othello is a black
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The two characters break the rules of their society and the natural result of this is that they should be punished by death. Othello is a moral play which reflects the era's stance of interracial relationships as wrong.

However it appears that Shakespeare is not simply a moralist. Othello is not simply a tragedy about a man whose fate decides that he should suffer a great downfall. Othello is more complicated than that, other factors are involved in the tragedy. Both Iago and Othello's own character can be held responsible for the tragic ruin of Othello.

It is difficult to determine Shakespeare's personal views regarding destiny. The typical view of the era is that Gods and destiny controlled your life. It could be argued that Shakespeare agreed with these sentiments, Othello and Desdemona both die for example. However other characters claim to be in control of their own lives and dismiss the idea of destiny. Iago for example is a character who is in control of his own actions. He knows he has the ability to control his life and influence those around him. Iago actively determines the course his life takes by plotting and scheming. Iago plots the downfall of Othello, he consciously knows what he is doing. Othello is not a play concerned with race, it is not because Othello and Desdemona are of different creed that the tragedy occurs. The tragedy in Othello occurs due to

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