Othello: a Tragic Hero

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Othello: A Tragic Hero

Othello is the epitome of a tragic hero. He starts out as a rather respectable and rational General, but was eventually consumed by jealousy and anger. A tragic hero must start out high in power and have tragic flaws that lead him to ultimately a tragedy. Othello’s tragic flaw is that he is easily manipulated, leading him to trust the wrong people. The play begins by showing the readers that Othello is a noble General. He is well respected by his officers with the exception of Iago of course, and he is well respected by politicians. The Duke makes it clear what the town thinks of Othello by saying “Othello, the fortitude of the place is best known to you.” (1. I; iii 576). And later on in the same scene he says to Barbantio, “Your son-in-law is far more fair than black.”
Othello is a highly esteemed man who commands the respect of everyone he meets. He is obviously a man held in high statue, which will make for an interesting fall from grace. Othello is very much in love with his wife at the beginning of the play, and seems to treat her with love and compassion. Only after he becomes consumed with jealousy and anger by the manipulation of someone else does he start to turn on her. “It gives me wonder great as my content to see you here before me. O my soul’s joy!” (1. II; i 587). He shows his love at just the mere sight of her. “No, not much moved. I do not think but Desdemona’s honest.” (1. III; iii 609). Iago is the one who seems to cause Othello’s tragic downfall. He manipulates him into a state of jealous rage. Consider later in the play when he is talking to his wife. “ Heaven truly knows that thou art false as hell.” (1.

IV; ii 634). He almost seems like a completely different person than that of the start of the play. He no longer has faith in Desdemona; he feels as though he hardly knows her. This
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