• 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...


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.


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.


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)

    This makes him sound like an evil sorcerer or wizard. The connotations of evil sorcery or wizardry makes Iago seem almost unreal. Also, the public in Shakespeare's time would have felt intimidated by the link to witchcraft. Iago thinks his plans are in the hands of someone else.

  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?

    He calls his plan a 'monstrous birth', as it a horrible thing to do. Iago uses a second soliloquy to say how he is going to carefully manipulate Cassio. He notices Cassio's close friendship with Desdemona, and uses this to put a thought into Othello's mind that they are having an affair with each other.

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

    He uses words like "Death and damnation O" to show how he becomes angrier. This shows that he has completely fallen into Iago's plot and is controlled by him. Hence the audience feel the inevitable tragic end of the play.

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

    The only difference between Roderigo and the other characters is how he does it. Roderigo is madly in love with Desdemona and wants her for himself. The first sign of Roderigo's desires comes from Barbantio when he speaks: "I have charged thee not to haunt my doors:/In honest plainness thou hast heard me say/My daughter is not for thee..."(I, i)

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

    He says 'farewell' to everything that he is accustomed to including his 'tranquil mind' 'all quality, pride, pomp, and circumstances of glorious war, in and the penultimate line 'Othello's occupation's gone. 'Throughout the play Iago is referred to as 'honest Iago' by many of the characters, including Othello's anger he

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