Malcolm X the Tragic Hero

1843 Words Dec 22nd, 2001 8 Pages
Randi Francis English II
Final Paper December 11, 2001

Malcolm X and The Shakespearean Tragic heroes

Aristotle defines a tragic hero "as good but flawed, must be aristocratic, must be believable, and must behave consistently." -Aristotle. The Muslim leader Malcolm X can be compared to such tragic heroes such as Othello and Hamlet. Malcolm's life and his personality have similar traits from both of the famous Shakespearean heroes. In this paper we will look deeper into the life of Malcolm X and find the similarities between him and the tragic heroes, also we will prove that Malcolm X can also be referred to as one of the great tragic heroes. Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little. He grew up in the streets of Boston and
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To understand the phrase "tragic flaw" we can take it as Aristotle had stated it "The tragic flaw is the most important part of the hero and the events that occur in the work is a reflection of that flaw." – Aristotle. So just as in the case of Othello, Malcolm's tragic flaw is gullibility. Many people because of their personal magnetism respect both these men. Malcolm is highly respected by many because of his ability to get results and by the way he is able to gain followers with his rhetoric. Othello is revered because of his awesome military genius. Malcolm and Othello both have very high self-confidence, which is shown by the way Malcolm argues beliefs and in the way Othello justifies his marriage to Desdemona. Since both Othello and Malcolm X came from humble and unsophisticated beginnings their judgment was somewhat hindered. In the play Othello Iago one of the main characters sees this in Othello "the Moor is of a free and open nature that thinks men honest that but seem to be so." (1:3:55:442-443). Iago knew of Othello's weakness. He also knew Othello's innocence and baseness makes him susceptible to being undermined by people. Othello is clearly a person who believes appearances versus reality. The role of Iago in Othello's life can be compared to the role of Elijah Muhammad in Malcolm's life. Malcolm and Othello base their reactions and decisions solely on the advice of the one who ultimately brings about their end. In Othello case he doesn't even

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