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How far do you agree that Othello is a tragedy caused by male egotism and female passivity?

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Essay How far do you agree that Othello is a tragedy caused by male egotism and female passivity? 'Othello' is a personal tragedy, which is explored by Shakespeare's character Othello. Tragedy is an event in life or literature that evokes feelings or sorrow or grief, in a play often involving a heroic struggle and the downfall of a main character. The traditional view of men is, the breadwinner and head of the family, responsible for discipline, and who has strength and courage. The traditional view of women is of them being, passive, emotional, sensitive and inferior to men. Egotistic describes someone who is self centred, self-centred, insensitive and inconsiderate. I believe that the arrogance of men contributed to the tragedy but passiveness of women I agree only to a certain extent. I would agree with the title that the male characters egotistic attitudes do play a large part in the tragic result of the play, I will explain this further by looking at the actions of the male characters throughout the play. Othello, is the tragic hero of the play. He has two contradictory roles, he is a military man and a lover/husband. ...read more.


His exchanges with Roderigo show this, and reveal the villain in him. Because he is able to play a number of roles convincingly and sees a person's weakness he becomes a type of puppet master, able to control all the people around him, selfishly getting the results to benefit him. Both Cassio and Othello become victims of his cynical and misogynist views. Iago is powered by intense jealously of the people around him; this combined with his egocentric character play a large part in the end result of the play. Michael Cassio does show the egotistical side of himself, but not entirely like Iago. He comes across as innocent to begin with he has, 'smooth charm' and 'courtly manner' which are shown when he speaks with Desdemona and he seems to be the perfect gentleman, he describes her as "exquisite" and "perfection". Cassio is described as a "proper man", and comes across as a good character when compared with Iago. In Act 2 Scene 3 Cassio says he is not a drinker and cannot hold his drink "I have a poor and unhappy brains for drinking", this he is open, honest and again perhaps innocent. ...read more.


"And to his honour and his valiant parts did my soul and fortunes consecrate", and her intelligence and wit is shown through her conversation with Iago (Act 2 scene 1) she does not back down to his comments, instead of reacting to them in an aggressive way she uses clever comments, attempting to defend women "These are old fond paradoxes to make fools laugh I'thalehouse". She does not get angry or aggressive allowing her to continue the conversation and she is able to get her point across. Her complete love and devotion shown throughout the play to Othello "my noble lord" and the way she maintains her innocence throughout the play "No but my life and soul!", show she is not passive but does maintain her ideas and won't be completely submissive to men she is in fact a credible character. In conclusion, I have shown the contribution each character brought to the play, the male character's egotistic attitudes of their time. These attitudes towards women contributed to the tragedy. The women in the play however were not totally confined by the attitudes of their time. The expected role of passivity was fought against by each of them in a different way with different outcomes. Therefore, I believe, the arrogance of the male characters did contribute to the tragedy but passiveness of women I agree only to a certain extent. ...read more.

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