• 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

    How does Shakespeare create an effective villain through his presentation of Iago in the ...

    3 star(s)

    makes it sound like nothing will go wrong, and shows Iago's level of confidence in his plans. The plan has built up enough momentum for nothing to get in its way. As in the first two soliloquies, the soliloquy ends in a rhyming couplet with "dream" and "stream."

  2. Peer reviewed

    What is the significance of Iagos Soliloquies in Othello?

    3 star(s)

    By using a metaphor, it gives the sentence more impact, and makes the audience able to better relate to it. Iago's third and final soliloquy takes place in act two, scene three. Previous to this soliloquy, Iago gets Cassio drunk, and makes Roderigo start an argument with him.

  1. 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

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

    The sympathy for Othello decreases after this scene. He doesn't believe what Desdemona says and he doesn't give her a chance to speak. He also slaps her in the public and he doesn't openly talk to her. The audience blame Iago more than Othello because he is the one who makes Othello think bad of Cassio and Desdemona.

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

    Iago seduces Roderigo's compliance in the disaster by dripping sweetened words of his attempts to sway Desdemona away from Othello. Roderigo, in his na�ve and loving mind, give Iago the financial means to further his plot of disaster. Iago tells Roderigo that the money and jewels he spends go to Desdemona, but there is little evidence of this.

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

    An example of this is Act 2 Scene 2 where Othello's herald addresses a crowd about a party to celebrate the marriage. This allows the scenery to be changed from a set displaying the quayside to a room in the castle.

  1. How Does Iago Successfully Manipulate Othello in Shakespeare

    Othello is in too deep a rage to think sensibly and is very susceptible to Iago's manipulation at this point. His attention is turned to his previous wish to see both Desdemona and Cassio dead. Iago tells him that he should suffocate Desdemona with a pillow as she sleeps whilst

  2. Analyse the methods Iago uses to bring about Othello's downfall. On what kind of ...

    telling him about Desdemona 'I saw't not, thought it not, it harmed not me. 'So Othello accuses Iago of giving him pain. We know that Othello has a tendency to be over dramatic this is shown again by his 'farewell 'speech because of his new 'knowledge'.

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