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With particular reference to Act one, scene III, discuss how Othellos tragic and heroic status are established in the first act of the play.

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Introduction

Grace Turner 20th October 2011 ?With particular reference to Act one, scene III, discuss how Othello?s tragic and heroic status are established in the first act of the play.? To be a tragic hero, a character must be someone who is initially well respected and someone who holds a high esteem within society. They must have high moral worth and tend to be highly ambitious, it is a single mistake or character flaw which brings them to ruin and they lose all that they possess. The character must always contribute to their own disaster, however, they must also fully realise the extent of their own contribution to the disaster. In ?Othello?, there are many examples of his heroic status, for instance, the many compliments he receives from various characters show that he himself is an admirable character and shows his great personality not only as a person, but as an officer too, and shows that he is possible of heroic status. ...read more.

Middle

While trusting others is essentially a good characteristic, it is also part of Othello?s hamartia and it is self-inflicted, as it is within his personality that he trusts others easily. Othello does not see the evil Iago and his malicious acts. Othello had experience with the military people on the battle field, where trusting others is essential as he had to put his life in the hands of others. As Iago had a good, commendable reputation on the battle field, Othello built a trust towards him and Iago used this to his advantage in destroying Othello. Othello believes Iago about Desdemona?s unfaithfulness and her affair with Cassio, so Othello?s gullibility also makes him jealous. Jealousy is powerful in Othello because it takes Othello over and Othello lose of both his mind and good judgment. Othello becomes twisted, angry and bitter due to his jealousy, which eventually brings himself about his death and the death of others at the end of the play. ...read more.

Conclusion

You could also argue, however that Othello is not a tragic hero, due to the fact, to be a tragic hero, the character must not only contribute to their own disaster but fully understand and realise their own input. Although Othello does contribute to his own disaster and, to a certain extent accept that he contributed, I do not think he fully, or even really party, takes the blame for the tragedy. However, Othello does not become a tragic hero after he has killed Desdemona and finally regained his senses. After he has killed Desdemona, Othello realizes what a terrible thing he has done. It is this anagnorisis that leads to the peripeteia and, eventually, the denouement. Shakespeare shows that Othello has returned to a heroic status because he is once again allowed to speak in verse, like at the beginning of the play, as opposed to prose. He also tells all those around him of his accomplishments and begs them not to remember him only for his flaws, which were caused by Iago. ...read more.

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