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Othellos credulity borders on stupidity and this is not a quality acceptable in a tragic hero.

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Introduction

"Othello's credulity borders on stupidity and this is not a quality acceptable in a tragic hero." Do you accept this viewpoint? A tragedy is a play that has an unhappy ending; usually the main character has a fatal flaw which eventually results in the downfall of the protagonist. A tragic hero is one we can sympathise with and are able to understand their ultimate demise. However it can be said that this downfall is in fact inevitable. Othello is the perfect example of a tragic hero, as by the end of the play we sympathise with Othello even though the reader is frustrated with the depth of his gullibility. In this essay the aim is to discuss whether we expect too much of Othello as a tragic hero and if the events that lead to the downfall of Othello credit on his "stupidity". Othello as a military commander, a mastermind on the battlefield when it comes to tactics and beating the opposition he is naive about how to react around others when off the battlefield. "Valiant Othello we must straight employ you" shows the trust that the Duke has for Othello and the amount of responsibility that Othello has due to him being a very successful commander. ...read more.

Middle

The form in which Othello is written is a play, unlike other plays that rely on stage directions, the play Othello is dialogue driven. This adds to the emphasis of Iago's deceit as the audience through soliloquies; know the true character of Iago and more about the characters' motivation and feelings whereas the characters are oblivious. So the audience is able to make confident judgements about the characters because of the form. As an independent man with a crude attitude about women, Iago is a man of pride. His jealousy of Othello and his passions (hatred, anger and revenge) fuel him towards the course of an evil master plan. Othello believes Iago's word and trusts him even more than Desdemona, his own wife. Earlier on in the play when Iago suggests that Desdemona and Cassio are having an affair Othello refuses to believe it and demands "ocular proof" but then settles for what Iago provides, a handkerchief and facial expressions. At this point in the play Othello's honour is dropping already, a respectable leader now hiding in the bushes all through the manipulation of Iago. This could be seen as proof that his credulity borders on stupidity as he believes Iago's made up scenarios and lies as fact. ...read more.

Conclusion

which was associated with blacks during that time, Brabantio is still upset and not convinced that his daughter could be capable of marrying Othello, but it is clarified that Desdemona was "half the wooer" and accepts her marital "rights" as she is in love with Othello. The love that was shared between Desdemona and Othello at the beginning of their marriage (and play) shows a lot of trust, which is broken down gradually throughout the play, through the manipulation of Iago and the gullibility of Othello. The only thing that Desdemona was at fault for was the fact that she talked and trusted Cassio as a noble soldier and friend of Othello's. But the mere fact that Desdemona talked to Cassio would have been enough proof for Othello as he was already manipulated and convinced that she was being unfaithful. This suggests that Othello is not a credulous character at all, as he is incredibly naive and let himself be manipulated by Iago. Othello's credulity does border on stupidity however we accept his fatal flaw, which in my opinion is the depth of his gullibility because he is a tragic hero. We acknowledge that external forces influenced Othello as a character and after he kills Desdemona his realisation and action of killing himself help the audience forgive him for his deed as he realised his mistakes. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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