Othello was a tragic play consisting of 5 acts written by William Shakespeare in 1603. It revolves around two major characters Othello, a heroic black general, and Iago, Othello’s trusted but jealous ensign. However, whether or not Othello can be considered a tragic hero is a matter of debate. He is a man of low birth who is only elevated to a position of power because of his military prowess. Read the article about whether can Othello be considered a tragic hero and how is Othello’s downfall his own fault.
1. What makes a Tragic Hero?Photo by BROTE studio on Pexels
A tragic hero is a person who is of high estate, often with a tragic flaw, who falls from a position of prominence and greatness to one of obscurity and despair. The fall is often caused by the hero’s own actions or by the actions of others. A tragic hero often has a moment of realization or recognition just before his fall, in which he comes to understand his own actions and their consequences. (See What is Ideal Tragic Hero?)
2. How does Shakespeare present Othello as a Tragedy?
Shakespeare presents Othello as a tragedy by depicting the downfall of a great man. Othello is a brave and noble general who is undone by his own jealousy and trust in the wrong people. The play shows how one man’s tragic flaw can lead to his ruin, and how the people around him are affected by his choices. Shakespeare also uses Othello’s story to explore the themes of love, betrayal, and race. By portraying Othello as a tragic figure, Shakespeare allows the audience to empathize with him and see the humaneness in his story. (Also Read Why is Shakespeare Called the Bard?)
3. Can Othello be considered a Tragic Hero?
After learning about Shakespeare presenting Othello as a tragedy, let us also understand can Othello be considered a tragic hero.
There is no denying that Othello is a tragic figure. He is a man who was subjected to the prejudices of those around him and let that affect him and his life. Othello is a tragic hero because he is a noble and courageous man who is brought down by his own tragic flaws. He is a man of great integrity and strength of character, but he is also easily manipulated by others because of his insecurities. These flaws ultimately lead to his downfall, and his tragic death. (See What is Your Unique Identity?)
4. Does Othello have a Tragic Flaw?
Othello is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare. The play is about the downfall of the title character, Othello, who is driven to madness by jealousy. So, can Othello be considered a tragic hero? Well, many scholars believe that Othello’s tragic flaw is his jealousy, which leads him to make disastrous decisions that ultimately result in his downfall. Other scholars believe that Othello’s tragic flaw is his trust in Iago, the villain of the play who manipulates Othello into believing that his wife, Desdemona, is unfaithful. Regardless of which tragic flaw is most responsible for Othello’s downfall, it is clear that he is a tragic figure who is brought down by his own flaws and the manipulations of others. (See What are unique characteristics?)
5. What is Othello’s Biggest Flaw?
Now that you are aware of how can Othello be considered a tragic hero, do you know what is Othello’s biggest flaw? Othello’s biggest flaw is jealousy and gullibility. Iago was a dishonest man who took advantage of Othello’s trust and he was able to convince Othello that his wife was cheating on him, even though there is no evidence to support this claim. Othello was gullible enough to believe this which led to his downfall. (See Summary of Romeo and Juliet – Act 3 Scene 5)
6. Is Othello’s Downfall his Own Fault?
Yes, Othello’s downfall is his own fault. He trusted Iago way too much and didn’t listen to Cassio’s warnings. He was easily manipulated by the people around him. Othello was a good man, but he was not perfect. His tragic flaw was trusting anyone and everyone, which leads to his downfall. Must see Why Loki is so popular (MARVEL)?
7. Who is Most to Blame for the Tragedy of Othello?
After getting an insight into how can Othello be considered a tragic hero and how is Othello’s downfall his own fault, you may wonder who is to be blamed the most. There are many possible candidates for who is most to blame for the tragedy of Othello. Iago is certainly to blame for his manipulative and destructive actions. However, Othello himself is also to blame for his own tragic downfall.
He is incredibly jealous and suspicious, which makes him easy prey for Iago’s machinations. Therefore, it is difficult to pinpoint a single person who is most to blame for the tragedy of Othello. (See Summary of Macbeth Act 4 – Scene 3)
8. How is Othello’s Status as a Tragic Hero established in the First Act?
Othello’s status as a tragic hero is established in the first act through a number of elements. First, Othello is introduced as a highly respected general, a brave and noble figure who has fought for his country and won great honor. However, he is shown to be a man of great passion, capable of great jealousy and rage.
This passion is what ultimately leads to his downfall. Additionally, the first act establishes Othello as a man who is not entirely comfortable in his own skin, and who is aware of his own outsider status in Venetian society. This sense of isolation, insecurity, and difference will also contribute to his tragic downfall, in the later part of the plot. (See Summary of Macbeth Act 1 – Scene 3)
9. Is Othello a Tragedy of Character or Fate?
There are two schools of thought when it comes to whether Othello is a tragedy of character or fate. The first school of thought believes that it is a tragedy of character because Othello makes a series of bad decisions that lead to his downfall. The second school of thought believes that it is a tragedy of fate because Othello is ultimately destroyed by external forces beyond his control. (See How are Frankenstein and Prometheus Alike?)
10. What is the Main Message of Othello?
The main message of Othello is that jealousy is a dangerous emotion that can destroy relationships and lives. The play tells the story of the tragic downfall of the title character, who is consumed by jealousy and ultimately destroys himself and those around him. While the play is a tragedy, it contains a warning about the dangers of jealousy and the need to control this emotion. (See What is the Outcome of Beowulf’s Battle with Grendel?)