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Othello as a Shakespearean Tragedy

Othello As A Shakespearean Tragedy

Othello as a tragedy, tragedy of Othello, Othello-tragedy, Othello
Othello as a tragedy

     Othello- the moor of Venice, written by William Shakespeare  in 1603 is a  Shakespearean tragedy, follows the general definition given by Aristotle and fulfilled the characteristics of tragedy. Let us we evaluate Othello as a tragedy.

       Characters are larger than life-  here we are talking about tragic hero’s. They are not from general category. They are Nobel. They must have some super power or should be on superior position. They has to be virtuous and morally a blameless man. We have tragic hero as Othello in Shakespeare’s play Othello. Othello is a moor, a black_but honorable-man. He is respected for his courageous and brave service to the army, and so he is appointed as a general in the army. It is not easy to achieve these position, as a black, living among White people and to become their superior. Because of his bravery, Desdemona- the daughter of senator, fall in love with him despite the fact that he is black. And even they got married. These things appreciate his character and so Othello is not a common man but larger than life.

       Character or a tragic hero should be good, but not so good- Because if he is too good and when he fall, no one is going to accept his downfall. Here in this play Othello is a general, on a higher position. He is brave. He achieve a lot by his hard work. From what he achieve we can say he must have good understanding and having a quality of good decision making. Still he did mistake. He could not understand the plot hatched by Iago and at the end he ends up killing his wife. Audience are in shock here, but they accept that as a human Othello can do such kind of mistake, and so they accept the downfall of Othello.

       Tragic flaw- the minor mistake of major character. In Greek it is called as hamartia. The hero suffers from some tragic error which is responsible for his downfall. Iago hatched plot and planned to avenge his jealousy at Othello by misleading him. Iago creates such situations to make Othello believe that his wife is betraying him and she is in relationship with Cassio. Othello didnot believe first, but because of such actions of Desdemona and Cassio, he starts feeling insecurity and jealousy. Such actions are-  when Othello enters home, Cassio left from behind ( because he was fired by Othello from the position lieutenant and told that not to come infront of him) . Othello just came from war and he want some personal time with his wife- Desdemona, but Desdemona starts talking about Cassio and asks to return the position to him. Those are the things that makes Othello to think about what honest Iago told to him. When Othello ask for proof to Iago, he use handkerchief as a proof, which is given to Desdemona by Othello as a gift ( the handkerchief was Othello’s mothers memory who told him to give it to his wife, and that handkerchief is given to Othello’s mother by an Egyptian sorceress and told her that the women who lost it will lose her husband). And after the handkerchief sceneHandkerchief scene, finally Iago trapped Othello. Othello made an error of judgment here and kill Desdemona. This error is big enough to decipher his entire career and bring his downfall. So the tragic flaw- here are jealousy and insecurity.

       Catharsis- the audience are filled with catharsis when Othello, a splendid lover and a remarkable general has come to know truth after his wife has been slayed by himself. This is the height of pity and awe. There is an impulse to attach when Othello is in great condolence after knowing truth. Audience feel pity for him more than hatred. There is an impulse to retreat when audience are thinking that what Othello is going to do now after knowing the truth. Othello is Noble and honorable man but he looses his respect here. Peripeteia occurs here. He thought that he will get honor after the death and so he killed himself.

Structure of play-
        Shakespearean tragedy usually works on five part structure, corresponding to the five acts: In part one the there is an exposition, outline the situation and introduction of main characters. In part two the development, continues the action and introduces complement. In part three there is crisis ( climax), bring everything to the head. Part four include further development and In part five, the final Crisis of action or revelation and resolution are explained. The play Othello follows the same pattern.

      So from all the above explanation we can conclude that Othello is a Shakespearean tragedy.

See also .... Handkerchief scene
             Ending of Othello

Othello as a Shakespearean Tragedy Othello as a Shakespearean Tragedy Reviewed by Yusuf Delair on December 12, 2019 Rating: 5

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