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

Othello's Character Flaws Essay

Extracts from this document...


Othello: A Classic Example of a Tragic Hero October 28th, 2011 ENG3UE A tragic hero is an exceptional human being of public importance; they are of a virtuous nature often being able to generate the sympathy of others and their actions often affect whole communities and countries. Most of all, they have a hamartia; a fatal character flaw that causes the hero's downfall. It the tragic hero's hubris in the cases of Macbeth, Julius Caesar, and King Lear; and Hamlet's indecisiveness in Hamlet. In Shakespeare's tragedy Othello, this is no different. The tragic hero, Othello, is the general of the armies in Venice, and a Moor. He is an eloquent and exotic man who commands the respect of those around him. He has lived through many hardships as a soldier, which has elevated him to the position he holds now, as a general and the husband of Desdemona, whom he loves deeply. While the chaos that ensues at the end of the play is due to Iago's malicious manipulation of characters, Othello's individual downfall can be specifically attributed to his own weaknesses and character flaws. ...read more.


Thus implanting the idea that there is something to be jealous of in Othello's mind. Othello at firsts insists he must "see before [he] doubt[s],"(III.iii.190) Desdemona. Although near the end of this scene we find Othello convinced of Desdemona's betrayal with Cassio, yet there is no proof given. Out of jealousy and anger, Othello vows to, "tear [Desdemona] all to pieces," while wishing that Cassio "had forty thousand lives," because killing him "once is...too weak for [Othello's] revenge." (III.iii.435, 446-447) Although he asks Iago for proof, he becomes fully convinced after hearing only Iago's lies. This proves that Othello is a man who is very quick to become jealous. This is further seen after Desdemona speaks of the "love [she] bears to Cassio," in terms of friendship. Othello interprets it as her speaking of a romantic love and reacts violently, calling her a "Devil," and striking her. (IV.i.221, 229) We can see that Othello is set on his plans to murder Desdemona and Cassio long before any reasonable proof has been presented to him. ...read more.


Othello uses Cassio's apparent death as an excuse not to look into it. It is this lack of exploration into both sides of the situation that causes Othello to act quite rash in his plot to murder Desdemona and Cassio, and finally lead to his own death. Othello is a man of elegance and level-headedness. It is because of his abilities as a soldier and leader that he has been able to become a general of Venice. However, just like every tragic hero, he has a hamartia. Othello puts an astonishing amount of trust in Iago, who then maliciously takes advantage of this, convincing Othello of Desdemona's supposed unfaithfulness. Othello is quick to become jealous and then quite spiteful of Desdemona. Othello is then blinded by rage, being unable to think critically about the situation at present. He is therefore unable to distinguish what the truth is, and believes the man he has trusted for so long, Iago. It is the combination of these qualities that have amounted to Othello's downfall in the play. Iago simply planted an idea into the mind of Othello, whose jealousy, anger and irrationality sprouted it into something tragic. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature 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 International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. A comparative essay on Othello and Macbeth

    Iago manipulates everyone around him in order to reach his goal of becoming lieutenant and eventually stabs Cassio to cover up his schemes. Both Characters also lack enough patients to wait until their desires can be fulfilled, which leads them to killing the people that are in the way of their goals.

  2. Extended Essay

    Ayse Kulin'in Adi Aylin romaninin anlatimi ger�ekte nesnel bir anlatima dayandirilmaktadir. Karsilikli konusmalarla verilen b�l�mler, kisilerin belli zaman dilimlerine ait konusmalarini belgeleyen yazilar ve fotograflarla nesnellik saglanmistir. Yazarin taraf oldugu, �ns�zdeki anlatiminda fark edilir: "Aylin Radomisli Sedef Kunter 000755032 Cates,.....ger�ekten de tarifi zor, ender rastlanan kisilerden biriydi.

  1. Women in Macbeth

    the ghost of Banquo at the banquet he was held to celebrate him becoming King. She covers him by saying that he is just experiencing a fit. She had to make the guests leave which may have caused suspicion among their guest but realizes this but has to make sure that Macbeth doesn't make any more mistakes.

  2. Those qualities which made Othello heroic (or admirable or exceptional) also caused his suffering. ...

    As a result, Othello?s position of power, which is helpful to Othello normally, also gives birth to Iago?s first thoughts of disloyalty against Othello, and marks the start of his plot to bring Othello suffering. Moving on, another major aspect of Othello?s character is his trust.

  1. Do Characters in Othello Cause Their Own Misfortune?

    This shows how his pride takes precedence over his rationality, because he believes that he can never be wrong, and a subordinate woman such as Desdemona could never question his actions. This scene is the most important cause of his downfall, his death, as it is the one where Othello

  2. Literary Analysis: Julius Caesar v. The Lord of the Flies

    developed upon gaining power while Golding's abusive leader, Jack, acts out on a whim for no apparent reason. When he names himself chief, Jack acts in a very naïve, juvenile way, viewing it as a fun way to pass the time, acting nothing like the vindictive Antony.

  1. An exploration of Desdemonas transgression of social norms within Shakespeares Othello.

    brought back home to her father, Desdemona instead tries to provide various reasons against the Duke?s proposal. Furthermore, she is the only one who proposes a suitable solution to the matter of ?fit disposition? ( I.iii.255) for her while her husband, Othello is in Cyprus.

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

    Unknowingly, the helpful shepherd was destined to play a part in carrying out this tragedy. Polybus and Merope seemed to be kind and loving parents to Oedipus; they took him in and raised him as their own. When Oedipus was older, he heard rumors that he was not his father?s son.

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