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In what ways does

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In what ways does "Othello" follow the rules of tragedy? Tragedy is not just simply one sad event, in ancient Greek plays and in Shakespeare's tragedies it usually follows a number of common ingredients or rules. Firstly it involves a conspicuous or exceptional personality. For example in the occurrence of Princess Diana's death she was the exceptional character. She was a woman who had done an astonishing amount of work for charities and a Princess. The second rule of tragedy is that it must be unexpected and constructed with previous happiness or glory. This also relate strongly to Diana's death. As I mentioned earlier she was a Princess, so obviously came from a privileged background. She had a distinguished family whom she loved with all her heart, and had close to everything she could have wanted in the world. It was also extremely unexpected because it was such a sudden death; she did not have a long-term disease or illness but died instantly in a car crash. The fact that she was so young when she died contributes to making it such a devastating event. If she had been in her seventies it wouldn't have been such a tragedy because she would have already lead a long and more fulfilled life. ...read more.


Firstly, Othello is at a stage in his life when he is perfectly happy, this is before Iago starts medalling with his emotions. Othello has a wife with whom he is deeply in love and this love is reciprocated. He is at the height of his career after his triumph in Cyprus, and commands a great deal of respect from all who know him. He is at a stage in his life when he is both happy and glorious when he tragically dies. Various quotes give evidence of this such as in Act Two Scene One when Othello and Desdemona are having a conversation and Othello says; ' It gives me wonder great as my content to see you here before me! 0 my soul's joy' This is a prime example of how much Othello loves Desdemona; it clearly represents the happiness he is feeling before his death takes place consequently making it such a great tragedy. It adds to the emotion you feel at the end of the play because you feel the victim is so unfortunate to have gone so quickly from sublime happiness and glory to a premature death. ...read more.


The sixth ingredient is essential for a tragic ending. Bad timing, fortune, accident and the element of fate all contribute to this particular rule. There are many examples of this throughout the play. The unfortunate timing of Desdemona's maid coming shortly after Othello had begun strangling Desdemona is a key part of the play. It caused Othello to be caught immediately but even more tragically if she had only come a few seconds earlier she could have prevented Othello committing the dreadful dead and explained to him about the handkerchief causing only the villain Iago to be killed. Bad fortune is present because Othello was to determined to kill Desdemona and not allow her to give her side of the story and prove her innocence. Further bad fortune is present as the Turks ship is sunk in the storm and consequently Othello is present when he wouldn't have otherwise been and so can be tricked by Iago. These factors along with the element of chance that occurs when Othello is hiding in the cell and misinterprets a conversation causing him to believe strongly in Desdemona's affair then only to be assured of this when he sees Desdemona giving Cassio the same handkerchief he had previously given to her make this a great tragedy. Joe Leach 4/5/04 ...read more.

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