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Othello Act 5 Scene 2

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Looking closely at Act 5 Scene 2, to what extent do you think Shakespeare portrays Othello as a tragic hero? In Act 5 Scene 2 Shakespeare builds up to a dramatic climax with Desdemona's death when Othello strangles her and that of a pitiful Othello realises he has been tricked by Iago, takes his own life. Much debate has taken place as to whether Othello can be viewed as a tragic hero. Is he a man that earns our respect or sympathy? Act 5 Scene two opens with a soliloquy from Othello. The opening statement is "It is the cause, it is the cause" This shows that Othello believes strangling his own wife for being deceitful is justified. He believes that Desdemona deserves what is about to happen to her. However, the audience are plagued with the knowledge that it is not justified and she is innocent. Yet he has allowed the powers of language and manipulation to capture his mind. Language once again plays a roll when Othello's language cannot hide his emotions towards his wife. "Nor scar that whiter skin of hers than snow, and smooth as monumental alabaster:" This metaphor highlights Desdemona's innocence as he compares her to light. ...read more.


Shakespeare has done this to add to the tragedy as it shows the audience just what Othello has lost, due to his own gullible and jealous ways. Othello's language conveys the poison injected into Othello's mind by Iago. "She's like a liar gone to burning hell, 'twas I that killed her." This simile proposes the question to the audience; does Othello honestly believe he is the minister of justice? This could show just how deluded Othello is if he still believes that what he did was justified. "Thou dost belie her, and thou art a devil" This is a strong metaphor which shows Emilia's love for Desdemona and that leads her to speak out regardless of the consequences in defence of her mistress's honour. "I did proceed upon just grounds to this extremity. Thy husband knew it all." This is the final judgment of Othello as he still tried to justify his actions to for Emilia's and his own benefit. This could suggest seeds of doubt in Othello's mind about what he has just done to Desdemona. Shakespeare is still showing parts of Othello's personality of which he is a good man and not a cold blooded murderer. ...read more.


It seems as though Leavis is saying Shakespeare has over dramatised Othello's reaction when he finds out the truth about Iago. In conclusion, I believe Shakespeare has portrayed Othello as a tragic hero due to him being a victim of his own fate. "Othello's nature is all of one piece. His trust, where he trusts, is absolute. Hesitation is almost impossible to him." This A.C Bradley's view of Othello. It supports my belief that Othello is a victim of his own fate as it is his fault that he trusts so easily and completely. If he had questioned Iago at all then maybe the outcome would have been different for him. Shakespeare conveys the tragedy through Othello's actions and language. However, we can see due to no doing of his own that his personality has completely changed. He no longer resembles the kind man we met at the beginning of the play, he is now only a shell of the man he once was. This is tragic as at the end of the play Othello has the sudden realisation he needed however, now it is too late. Shakespeare's decision to have Othello kill himself suggests he could not live with the guilt of killing the woman he loved. Therefore, proving he wasn't truly the evil man Iago had turned him into. ...read more.

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