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Fate-al Flaw. Sophocless Oedipus Rex and Shakespeares Othello are characters commonly referred to as tragic heroes.

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Hayek Angela Hayek Mr. O?Brien EN201 13 Oct 2011 Fate-al Flaw Aristotle describes a tragic hero as a noble character with a tragic flaw that ultimately ensures his own downfall. This tragic flaw is usually something an audience can relate to, and may arouse feelings of pity and fear. Sophocles?s Oedipus Rex and Shakespeare?s Othello are characters commonly referred to as tragic heroes. Both characters are noble men, but only one is truly a tragic hero. Oedipus?s downfall is caused by Fate, not by some tragic flaw. Othello is a true tragic hero, and his tragic flaw is jealousy, that ?green-ey?d monster?, which ultimately destroys him (Shakespeare 1002). Sophocles?s Oedipus Rex introduces King Oedipus as a concerned ruler trying to rid the city of its curse. In order to lift the curse from the city, Oedipus must find the murderer of the late King Laios. In the quest to find the murderer, horrible family secrets are revealed, and like an out-of-control train, there is no turning back. From the beginning, Oedipus is doomed by Fate to carry out his part in the tragedy. After learning that Laios would be killed by their newborn child, Iokaste sent their baby away. She gave the baby to a shepherd who was to hang him on a mountainside to die. Iokaste was trying to outwit Fate by killing the baby, but Fate had other plans. ...read more.


the ?fate? of a plant to grow toward the sun; the plant can be temporarily turned away, but it will always grow back toward the light? (par 4). In other words, the more the characters tried to change Fate, the more it stayed the same. If Iokaste had kept the baby, if the shepherd had killed the baby, if the second shepherd had raised the baby as his own, and if Polybus and Merope had been honest with Oedipus, then maybe things would have been different. For Oedipus, neither the truth, nor fate, could be escaped. Fate was unfair to Oedipus. Although he was not perfect, he did try to do the right thing. Throughout his life he tried to avoid patricide and incest because he knew that was what the oracle predicted for his life. However, Oedipus could not run far enough or later deny the truth that stared him in his face; his fate was sealed, and he could not escape it. William Shakespeare?s Othello shows its audience the wickedness of jealousy, and how the most innocent of actions may be turned into something devious if looked upon with a false eye. Othello, the gentle Moor, is turned into a murderous villain after listening to the whispers of the slithering snake Iago. Iago, the master manipulator, sets his plan in motion by deceiving almost everyone around him. ...read more.


Emilia reports to Othello that Desdemona is doing nothing wrong after he instructs her to spy on his wife. Emilia begs him to believe that his wife is loyal to him only, but Othello?s jealousy is only inflamed by her lack of evidence. He believes Desdemona is just a sly whore who has out-maneuvered her servant. Although it had been hidden for many years, Othello was a jealous man by nature. All it took was an opportunistic devil like Iago to exploit Othello?s insecurities that caused his unraveling. Sadly, jealousy was Othello?s tragic flaw, and he could not overcome it. One could say that Oedipus and Othello have one thing in common: immense pride. Oedipus is so proud of the life he built on his own that he thinks he has outsmarted Fate. Othello thought that no one in his service would dare betray him, but his lowest ranking officer makes him the biggest fool of all. Perhaps things could have been different if Oedipus had told his parents about the prophecy from the oracle or if Othello had taken the word of his beloved wife instead of ?honest? Iago. In the end, Oedipus realizes that his fate was written from the time of his birth and no man or woman could change that. However, things could have been different for Othello had he been able to overcome his fatal flaw ? jealousy. Because Fate controlled Oedipus?s life, he cannot be considered a tragic hero. Jealousy was Othello?s fatal flaw, and this makes him the true tragic hero of these two plays. ...read more.

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