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To What Extent Can It Be Argued That Othello’s Downfall Is the Result of His Own “Tragic Flaw”?

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Introduction

To What Extent Can It Be Argued That Othello's Downfall Is the Result of His Own "Tragic Flaw"? Shakespearean tragedies all follow the same structure. Each one has five acts in which the middle act is the turning point of the play and every character affected by the tragedy dies by the end of the play. In this play Othello, who is the eponymous hero, is the tragic hero. A tragic hero always has a tragic flaw, which is a characteristic that leads to their defeat, or downfall. In my essay, I will be discussing to what extent Othello tragic flaw leads to his downfall. At the beginning of the play, Shakespeare presents Othello as a villain, by using other characters' words to portray him: Othello isn't in the first scene. Shakespeare presents Iago as the villain of the play to show Othello in a bad light. In Act 1 Scene 1, Iago and Roderigo are telling Brabantio, Desdemona's father, that Othello has married her. Iago uses the image of theft to describe Othello: "you're robbed." This is a stereotype of the time towards North-African men suggesting that they are evil and steal from people. ...read more.

Middle

One of the reasons for this is that Iago believes that Othello had a liaison with Emilia, Iago's wife. Moreover, Othello gave the position of lieutenant to Cassio, and Iago wanted the position for himself. This brings in the theme of jealousy, which is present throughout the play. Shakespeare shows this hatred though Iago's soliloquies and the dramatic device of asides. During Iago's soliloquies, he talks about Othello in a derogatory way, by using the term "Moor". This is a put down, and makes Othello appear less than he is. This is also a racist term and shows that Iago is egotistic and really does believe he is better than Othello or he is jealous of Othello and tries to cover it up by saying insulting him behind his back. However, he does this too much and it becomes obvious that Iago envies Othello for being successful in situations where Iago isn't. The main evidence for this is Iago's affections for Desdemona. In his second soliloquy (Act 2, Scene 1), he states "Now I do love her too." This demonstrates that he is jealous that Othello married Desdemona and wants her for himself. ...read more.

Conclusion

In my opinion, this illustrates that Othello's downfall is a result of his tragic flaws. At the end of this speech, Othello stabs himself. He does this because he thinks that it will redeem him from not believing Desdemona, and then killing her. I don't think that is does redeem him because there is no way to bring her back to life, so, ultimately nothing can redeem him, but I believe suicide is still not necessary. This reveals that Othello's downfall is a result of his tragic flaws. In conclusion, Othello's downfall could be the result of his own tragic flaws, but also the result of Iago's manipulative skills. This is because it was Iago that made Othello believe the lies about Desdemona, but it was Othello that was too trusting and believed him, and then acted upon his lies. In my opinion, Othello's downfall could also be Desdemona's fault because she didn't stand up for herself and lied on her deathbed to protect Othello which made him believe that she could lie about other things. Therefore, I think that Othello's downfall was partly due to his own tragic flaws, but was mainly Iago's manipulative skills. ...read more.

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