• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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

Extracts from this document...

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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Othello section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Othello essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    What is the significance of Iagos Soliloquies in Othello?

    3 star(s)

    meaning he is going to tell Othello about the made up affair that Cassio and Desdemona are apparently having. Iago then admits "For I fear Cassio with my night-cap too". This indicates that Iago doesn't trust Cassio because he might sleep with his wife, Emilia.

  2. How does Iago manipulate characters and bring about their downfall in Shakespeare's Othello?

    Iago then uses musical imagery to say that he is going to break apart Othello and Desdemona' marriage, "O you are well tuned now but I'll set down the pegs that make this music as honest as I am." Iago says that Desdemona will soon become bored with Othello and

  1. Is Othello a 'noble hero' brought down by 'a devil of motiveless malignity' or ...

    and having a sorrowful or disastrous conclusion that excites pity or terror." The latter part, about disastrous conclusion is true for Shakespeare's tragedies, and Othello is no exception. Roderigo blindly follows Iago's lead and while his contribution to the disaster is minimal at best, he still is able to feed Iago's desire for revenge, as all the characters do.

  2. How Does Iago Successfully Manipulate Othello in Shakespeare

    Othello hears the commotion and thinks that Iago has carried out the killing of Cassio, though unfortunately to Iago, Cassio is only wounded. Roderigo is also wounded so Iago finishes him off in order to prevent his fiendish scam from being promulgated.

  1. Othello" is a tragedy and Othello is a tragic hero. Discuss

    Look to your wife, observe her well with Cassio". Hearing these words Othello becomes suspicious. The missing handkerchief also makes him more confused and his thought becomes more violent and plots to kill Desdemona. Iago says he saw Cassio wipe his beard with the handkerchief. When we look closely at the language of Othello, at first he uses simple words and gradually his language changes into becoming more violent.

  2. 'Hell and Night must bring this Monstrous Birth into the World's Light.' How Successful ...

    Othello murders Desdemona and many people would believe this to be acceptable considering the circumstances that he thought that he was in. However, morally it is wrong, unjust and too extreme. It portrays the message that violence is the answer when communication would have been the best option for the scenario.

  1. 'Othello': A Tragedy of Deception or a Tragedy of Self-deception? Depicting the downfall ...

    in the first person and speaking of his own 'nature' when he first mentions 'jealousy' directly. Othello's insecurities about his wife are then betrayed to Iago completely, as he attempts to justify events to himself, and dismiss them by reminding himself of simple facts; 'For she had eyes and chose me.'

  2. Essay on 'Othello'

    This shows that he once again is disrespectful of Christian values and of Christ. But this line could also be showing that Iago may have a layer to his character, which is unseen by other people. We can see that what Roderigo says is an echo of how Iago speaks, especially about Othello.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work