Monday, September 2, 2019

Othello Essays -- essays research papers

â€Å"Othello’s stature as a tragic hero is severely compromised by the alacrity with which he turns against his wife, and by his failure to achieve any real self knowledge† To what extent do you agree? Othello’s stature as a tragic hero is severely compromised by the speed and ease with which he turns against his wife, and by his failure to achieve any real self knowledge. In the Shakespearian tragedy of Othello, we witness the character of Othello fall from a position of control in Venetian society due to a combination of different reasons. Othello has a deep self-love for himself, and it is because of this he turns against his wife Desdemona with a great speed and ease. A traditional ‘tragic hero’ portrays four major characteristics: firstly, the tragic hero is a figure of high standing/esteem in the community; secondly, there is an agency that leads to the fall of the hero whether within the hero himself or from an outside figure/source; the third characteristic is a moment of self-realisation or self-awareness and the last characteristic is that the fall of the hero results in death. Othello is portrayed as a well-respected citizen within the Venetian society. He can be seen as an intelligent and heroic military leader whose skill is indeed very valuable and necessary to the state and he knows this. His military success has promoted his position within Venetian society, and as a ‘Moor’ within the white dominated society, he has a strong desire to maintain his social standing, and is prepared to sacrifice anything which threatens his reputation, which leads to the eventual death of Desdemona. Othello is trusted by everyone in Venice being called, â€Å"valiant Othello† and â€Å"brave Othello† and described as â€Å"...more fair than black† (I, iii, 286). He has been given full martial and political command of Cyprus and is a figure of high standing and esteem within the Venetian community. Othello’s flaw or weakness lies in his hubris, or exaggerated pride in himself, and he continually refers to it saying â€Å"Let [Brabantio] do his spite, my services which I have done the signiory / Shall out-tongue his complaints...† (I, ii, 17-19) and that â€Å"...[his] parts, [his] title, and [his] perfect soul / Shall manifest [him] rightly...† (I, ii, 31-32). It is due to his obsession with his pride, his self-esteem and his self image which leads to his loss of self control and hi... ...the sweetest innocent / That did e’er did lift up eye† (V, ii, 197-198), that she was false, and rather than realising his weaknesses and flaws, he takes the blame away from himself saying the murder was planned by fate: â€Å"...O ill-stared wench!..† After he has committed the crime, Othello makes sure that he is remembered as the hero he believed himself to be, once again his hubris encompassing him, saying: â€Å"...I have done the state some service and they know’t: ...Speak of me as I am; nothing extenuate, Nor set down aught in malice...speak Of one that loved not wisely, but too well; Of one not easily jealous but, being wrought, Perplexed in the extreme...† (V, ii, 335-342). Othello’s never accepts his tragic flaw as self-knowledge, nor does he accept responsibility for the death of his innocent wife Desdemona. Othello is unable to see himself as a member of the Venetian society, and â€Å"it is the tension between Othello’s victimisation at the hands of a foreign culture and his own willingness to torment himself† along with the alacrity with which he turns against his wife and his failure to achieve self-knowledge which severely compromise Othello’s stature as a tragic hero.

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