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To what extent is Othello presented as a tragic hero in Act 1 of Othello. Refer to context, concepts of the tragic hero, other tragedies and critical interpretations

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Introduction

To what extent is Othello presented as a tragic hero in Act 1 of 'Othello'. Refer to context, concepts of the tragic hero, other tragedies and critical interpretations The famous Philosopher, Aristotle, explored what exactly is a tragic hero; he said, in his own words, "A man doesn't become a hero until he can see the root of his own downfall." (1). Also, a man should have nobility from birth, as Aristotle says, yet Othello slowly climbed the ladder of hierarchy enabling him to stable that status as the Moor (Venetian Moor) yet he sets himself as a tragic hero because he isn't going to accepted into society due to his colour. Was his colour a conceit in a way, showing an anticlimax, foreshadowing the downfall of his status, making it less tragic? This is a mere criticism. Aristotle's theories are intriguing, and I will be discussing these in detail later on in the essay. Another characteristic of a tragic hero is that the hero's story must appeal to emotions. Clearly we are shown this in the first scene in act 1 where Shakespeare uses sibilance to characterise the main characters, Iago and Othello, in the play. ...read more.

Middle

bonds for help. This is a major fatal flaw as it showed how male companionship collapsed the foundation and made Othello a 'dawn fall' .The quote 'an old black ram is tupping your white ewe' can be an extended metaphor for the predatory nature of the world. Iago says that he will "wear my heart upon my sleeve for daws to peck at, I am not what I am" which is a denotation in an interpretive sense that a crow is a symbol of society and society is predatory and everything is deceptive. This dramatic irony is there to show the audience the fatal flaw in Othello believing Iago. Iago's predatory nature on Othello can spark off other events such as paranoia which is shortly developed after Othello being calm for so long it isn't bearable so paranoia sneaks in. His calmness is shown through his first words of "'Tis better as it is", giving a very patient approach to the situation. Yet, we expect this to juxtapose highly towards the end of the play as we see Iago can do anything to corrupt psychological states of people by manipulation and even greater, maybe paranoia. ...read more.

Conclusion

This repetition is highly manipulative as it says "therefore make money". Though, this manipulation isn't a flaw for Roderigo, as his status is nothing compared to Othello, yet later on in the acts, Othello is slowly driven into paranoia by the vehicle Iago is driving and causing hamartia (fatal flaw). The socio-historical context with Macbeths is important as they interlink and you can come to a conclusion about both of them. From both, Othello and Macbeth, it shows Shakespeare is interested in deception; at the start of Macbeth, the tragic hero is characterised by Iago, and at the start of Macbeth by the witches. It seems as though Shakespeare is allowing us too see different perceptions, through women (witches) and men (Iago and roderigo). Lady Macbeth is almost a mirror image of Iago in a distorted way as they both drive to manipulate; Lady Macbeth manipulated Macbeth to go kill the king. Shakespeare questions whether we should break the convention of "men before women" or not, as both are corrupted and delusional and both play a part in the tragedy of the "tragic hero" ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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