• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The tragic theories of Hegal and Girard are more useful in interpreting Othello than those of Nietzsche. Discuss.

Extracts from this document...


"The tragic theories of Hegal and Girard are more useful in interpreting Othello than those of Nietzsche." Discuss. When focusing on Othello, there are numerous philosophers with different with different view points on the tragedy behind Othello. Three more celebrated philosophical thinkers are Hegel, Nietzsche and Girard. When the principles of a Hegelian tragedy are applied to Othello, there needs to be a society in conflict, as well social forces which destroy each other. Throughout the first act of the play, Venice is at war with turkey; Othello is a general and plays a key role in the war. Eventually the venetians beat the Turks and Othello, Desdemona and the rest of the key characters go to stay in Cyprus. The first social conflict to mention is black versus white. White people are seen to be generally higher up in society and black people lower down. It is clear that some of the white venetians strongly believe this statement should be the way forward for Venice and consequently they very raciest. This point is backed up firstly by Iago's hatred of Othello as being partly racially motivated is emphasised especially in his description of Othello as 'his Moorship' which implies that Iago sees Othello's high status as incompatible with his race. ...read more.


These wise words imply that there is no need for weapons as Brabantios age and status inspire more respect than weapons do. However Iago never stops trying to cause the chaos and as Othello sinks deeper into distrust of Desdemona and is more consumed by his jealousy, chaos increases and threatens to devour him. His suspicion of Desdemona's affair overpowers him and makes him mentally chaotic, leaving him in deep despair. Girard, on the other hand, believes instead that a tragedy is made up of a violent society in need of a sacrificial victim to purge the society and cleanse it. When Girard's theory is applied to Othello, in order for the sacrifice to restore order they already must be both hated and admired. One could argue that both Othello and Desdemona are sacrificial victims in the end of the play. First of all we have Othello; he was definitely very much hated by both Iago and Rodrigo, Iago says in Act One; "I hate the Moor". Iago hates Othello because Othello promoted Cassio over Iago to be his leftenant even though Iago has more field experience. Othello is also admired my many and especially by Desdemona; "the heavens forbid But that our loves and comforts should increase even as our days do grow". ...read more.


Othello's language becomes so violent and angry; "Blood blood blood!" Blood gives us imagery of violence and betrayal, like someone being stabbed because they have betrayed someone. In this instance it could be because Othello thinks Desdemona has betrayed him. He could be crying it out because he wants to either stab Desdemona or Cassio because of what they have done, or because he feels like he has been stabbed in the back and he is thinking about his own blood. Thinking about his own blood would resemble his pain and pain is an aspect of Will. In conclusion, it could be argued that the principles behind Hegel and Girard's ideas are more accurate when applied to Othello, because a lot of their values match what happens in the play. A great deal of Nietzsche's beliefs do not imitate the events of Othello, particularly the ending because Othello turns back to being a representative rather than following the idea of will. Othello speaks in prose just before he kills himself; "of one not easily jealous, but being wrought", the word wrought symbolises that he was battered and changed by Iago and following will was him not being himself. By speaking in prose this implies that he has gone back to his old self who always used to speak in prose and always used to act in a representative manner. ?? ?? ?? ?? Jessica lachlan ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Othello section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Othello essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    All of the characters who experience misfortune in Othello bring it upon themselves. Discuss ...

    4 star(s)

    Roderigo rarely acted upon it and instead, he put all of his trust in Iago. He was one to protest and complain about the situation, but never to take any serious action upon it. It became clear that Roderigo did not wish to perform any villainous deeds; he simply had a strong desire for Desdemona.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    To what extent is language central to the understanding of Othello and Macbeth

    4 star(s)

    By Act III Iago has managed to contaminate Othello's soul and has used Othello's flaws, his capacity for sexual jealousy and inability to cope with uncertainty and humiliation, to turn him against Desdemona. We wonder whether the monster that Iago produces was always hidden inside Othello, as Macbeth's 'vaulting ambition' (I vii l.27)

  1. An Exploration of Imagery in Othello

    this notion as Desdemona's sin affects them both as they are a married couple. The heaven imagery used at the beginning of the play contrasts to the imagery of hell and the devil used later. At the start of the second act Othello arrives in Cyprus and on seeing Desdemona he exclaims '0 my soul's joy!'

  2. Does othello represent the idea of a tragic hero

    This puts forward a very strong view of Othello. We can understand what Leavis means when Othello says "My parts, my title and my perfect soul". My opinion is similar to that of A.C. Bradley. My reasons behind this are that Othello is descended from royal blood and was taken as a slave.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work