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Define 'tragic hero'

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Introduction

Define 'tragic hero' A tragic hero usually has high moral and social standing. They will be honourable and graceful but with one fatal flaw. Fate will set their path and the flaw in their character will bring them to their downfall and not let them deviate from it. They also always die at the end of the play 'the death of the hero is customarily held back until the end of the play' (pg 83 Kernan 1963) A Greek tragedy, such as Oedipus where he kills his father then marries his mother and blinds himself by gauging his eyes out for punishment, also has these key elements. Othello fits the Greek tragic hero because he is honourable, we can tell this because his status as a general must make him honourable. Also because of his colour he will have to have proved himself more honourable than others to get this status. He is graceful, we know this because of the way he speaks in the play as he uses people's names instead of he and she and the way he addresses people 'most potent, grave and reverend signiors' (act 1 scene 3 line 76). He also speaks in poetic form, which shows education, high standing and wealth. ...read more.

Middle

He is so jealous about the possibilities of losing Desdemona to Cassio that he can't think properly and believes everything Iago tells him. We can see he is jealous when he says things such as 'I had rather be a toad and live upon the vapour of a dungeon than keep a corner in the thing I love for others uses' (act 3, scene 3, lines 269-272) which means he thinks the idea of somebody else being with the person he loves is one of the worst things to happen. This shows he is jealous about it even though he tried to make out to Iago he isn't 'Fear not my government,' (act 3, scene 3, line 256). This is ironic because he has lost his self control and at the end will kill Desdemona. In Act 5 scene 2 Othello's character changes for the worse again. This is the part of the play where he goes completely crazy over his jealousy and kills Desdemona. All the way through the play his jealousy has being adding to his downfall and at this part it all just gets to much for him and he cannot help but kill Desdemona. ...read more.

Conclusion

The stage would be a proscenium arch stage because it is traditional so it would suit the play, it is easy for actors to get on and off the stage, focuses the audiences attention and has excellent acoustics. This is what my stage would look like: (picture of stage) The lighting on the stage would relatively bright although slightly gloomy to show all is not right with Othello maybe using different colour filters to do this. As Othello speaks his soliloquy a spotlight would move over him so the audiences attention is focused on him. I would dress all the actors in typical Shakespearian clothing to fit in with the play. Othello would be well dressed as he is a general and has high standing so therefore must have money, which would make him be well dressed. He would have lots of intricate patterns on his clothing to go with the Shakespearian dress code. The rest of the actors would also be well dressed in expensive and decorative clothing, as they are all of high standing. The women would have their hair up as this was how people dressed in Shakespearian times and I want to make the play fit into this era. The male actors would have longer hair to fit in with the era. The actors would also wear little make-up because I don't think heavy make-up would fit into the play well. ...read more.

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