Is Othello a Tragic Hero?To what extent can Othello be considered a’terrible hero ‘? The degree of which Othello is an awful hero has been open to much dispute; the basis on which he is judged falls to Aristotle’s recognized view of the vital components that identify whether a person is really terrible. According to Aristotle, an awful lead character is a nobleman or person from high status, who adds to his own demise and shows a flaw or weak point in judgment. The awful protagonist must make a fall from a high state of being to a low state or death.
The awful hero’s failure, stated Aristotle, was brought upon by some mistake of judgement. Aristotle’s theory is not the last word on tragedy, however it can support in identifying the pivotal characteristics in Othello’s character and when they take place, with fantastic precision. This tragic ‘flaw’ has often been incorrectly analyzed in ethical terms, and some critics have actually tried to find some ethical weakness in the awful hero. For Othello, this has resulted in the prevalent assertion that his fall is because he was too naive and relying on his subordinate, Iago.
Although, metaphorically speaking he does fall from a fantastic height, it would be incorrect to recommend that since Othello pleases one of the Aristotelian requirements, it makes him a tragic hero. It is only when the six basic ideas are considered, can a hero be justly considered ‘terrible’. Nobility can be specified as an individual who possesses excellent qualities of mind and character and who is not suggest or petty. If you were to judge Othello’s character on the basis of this meaning then it would be unjust to recommend that his nobility can support his claim to be a tragic hero.
To some, Othello lacks nobility and depicts a number of actions to validate this. His distinguished role as a General-to an extent-proves his nobility to the audience. For Othello to live in a mainly white Venetian society, needs a specific quantity of bravery which in a sense partially satisfies the requirements needed to be thought about as noble. Nevertheless, on the other hand, the final scene reveals Othello to be among Shakespeare’s most ignoble, pain in the neck lead characters. The quote exposes Othello as being unworthy of his worthy title and credibility of being credible and ethical, both domestically and in occupation as a soldier.
Striking a woman-even in the modern society- is attached with weakness and cowardice; so for Othello to publically embarrass and harm Desdemona, considerably reduces his argument of being an awful hero and makes him somewhat ignoble. Desdemona’s innocent references to Cassio goad Othello till he snaps and strikes her. When she states she is “grateful” that Othello has actually been bought to Venice and that Cassio will supervise of Cyprus, he can’t take any longer. The physical striking of Desdemona was not staged till the late 19th century by the actor Tommaso Salvini.
The striking of Desdemona would have stimulated strong sensations from a Jacobean audience. Unlike Othello, Lodovico is a real gentleman and his quote “This would not be thought in Venice!” emphasises the monstrosity of Othello’s action. This specific scene disproves Bradley’s theory that Othello is “the most romantic figure amongst Shakespeare’s heroes”. Both Macbeth and Othello are prominent Jacobean catastrophes that William Shakespeare developed with notable awful protagonists. The play Macbeth is an excellent work that carefully follows Aristotle’s norms.
Macbeth is a brave warrior in King Duncan’s Army who compromises his honour and neglects his ethical duties in the attainment of power and position which undoubtedly results in his awful end. Macbeth’s death begins when he murders King Duncan simply to satisfy his own ego and dream of ending up being king. He dedicates the murder since of his fatal defect; excessive aspiration. By contrast, Othello’s downfall is caused by his jealousy; this makes him less of an awful hero in comparison to Macbeth, who falls from a high stature with honorable thinking.
Opposing my individual view, A. R Bradley perceives Othello’s jealousy as being ‘reputable’ because of the newness of his marital relationship and the insecurities troubling Othello. This is a warranted point nevertheless it only contributes as evidence to show the case that Othello is not a terrible hero, he is simply weak. Throughout the period of the play, Othello’s relationships with crucial characters are unveiled. It is then that we become aware of Othello’s relationship with Iago. From the balanced out, we find out that Iago is envious of Othello and sets out to destroy the life he has actually produced himself.
At the start of the play, Iago makes very clear to Roderigo the obvious cause for his hatred of the basic. His lack of promotion to lieutenant leads him to state: “… be judge yourself, Whether I in any just term am affin ‘d To love the Moor.” Since of this, it could be argued that Othello is too trusting of Iago and must have been more vigilant; nevertheless, although the lead character may hold a propensity towards jealousy, the ensign is exceptionally possible and cunning and therefore there was no understandable reason to mistrust ‘honorable Iago ‘.
Iago is likewise a primary source of situational and significant paradox. His soliloquies function as a vector to inform the audience of his intentions nevertheless his victims are unaware of his on-going control. We later on discover Iago’s vexed feelings towards the relationship of Othello and Desdemona. He has the ability to amplify and vilify the differences between Desdemona and Othello, much to the extent that Othello himself has the mind-set that his marriage is a travesty. Iago has the ability to plant the seed of disgust in Brabantio by making the marriage appear ‘unnatural’ and monster like: “… n old black ram/ Is tupping your white ewe” (1. 1. 87-88)” The quote displays the subtle control and contortion by Iago that ultimately makes him among Shakespeare’s utmost, greatest literary antagonists. Hazlitt declares that “Iago is an aesthete of evil” and lacks the intention to validate his actions. As a character, Iago is equivalent to a Machiavellian Jacobean villain. His self-centered fixation with dissembling and controling other persons, with the intent of damaging their character is definitive of a real Machiavel.
Similar to a Machiavel, Iago doesn’t act selflessly and virtuously, instead he is encouraged by evil, pride and selfishness. Othello’s psychological degeneration progressively aggravates to the point that his speech and personality no longer represents of the highly concerned military male and a lover-husband that we satisfy at the start of the play. Then Othello has excellent self-confidence in his skill with language, a lot so that he can declare that he is “rude” in speech, with the understanding that no-one surrounding him will think this.
He then lures and marvels the audience with a forty-line speech that effortlessly weaves words such as “hair-breadth” and “Anthropophagi” into blank verse lines. Nevertheless, in the moments when Iago’s adjustment is especially severe, Othello’s language degrades into fragmented, hesitant, and incoherent syntax. Throughout Act III, scene iii, Othello speaks in short, clipped exclamations and half-sentences such as “Ha!” and “Dost thou say so?” There is also noteworthy repeating, as in “Not a jot, not a jot” “O, monstrous, monstrous! “O, blood, blood, blood!” and “Damn her, raunchy minx! O, damn her, damn her!” Such minutes, when Othello shifts from his typical apparently simple and easy verse to near inarticulateness, show the level to which Othello’s passion has actually broken down his self-discipline. In Act III, scene iii, he is still speaking in primarily coherent sentences or phrases; however this is no longer the case in Act IV, scene i. Othello’s last speeches are dignified, but they lack function and he does not appear to have a complete understanding of all that has taken place.
He utilizes the first speech to condemn himself and his awful deed; this is more than likely a response of anyone who has come to the realization that they have wrongfully eliminated an enjoyed one. It might be argued that Othello does indeed fall from a fantastic height in regards to his character and syntax, however it is rather absurd of Othello to lose control in such a method that he stoops to eavesdropping on conversation in order to satisfy the ideas in his mind and it is this apparent fragility makes him more of a target for Iago’s control.
In conclusion, I think that Othello does not warrant the requirements of tragedy. Nevertheless his failures in fulfilling the criteria are more significant than his achievements. It would be wrong to suggest that Othello isn’t a tragic hero; he shattered all racial bias and preserved an honourable position in the army. Nevertheless as the duplicitous Iago increases his pressure in control, Othello falls apart into a character that is fairly unrecognisable from his former self.