Othello V.’S. Macbeth: Battle of Tragedy Essays

2458 Words May 24th, 2008 10 Pages
In Shakespeare’s plays Othello and Macbeth the audience is presented with two great heroes who both poses a certain character flaw that inevitably leads to their downfall. This is the idea behind a tragic hero; a person of great importance comes to a tragic end because of a serious flaw in his character. Both Othello and Macbeth find themselves on top of the world one moment and being crushed beneath it the next. The next logical comparison to make between two of Shakespeare’s tragic heroes is who is more tragic, who fits the design of the tragic hero more closely, Othello or Macbeth.
In order for one to judge who best fits the mold of the tragic hero, Othello or Macbeth, some criteria for being compared must be decided upon. The great
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Othello tells his trusted friend Iago, “My parts, my title, and my perfect soul/ Shall manifest me rightly” (Shakespeare 1.3.31-32). After his tragic downfall Othello once again regains a measure of his good character and realizes what a terrible crime he has committed. To set things right he sentences himself to death and carries out his final judgement upon himself. Othello is truly remorseful and realizes what a fool he was to believe “honest Iago” and the lies he told. He cries out asking how Iago, the “demi devil,” could capture his soul that way. This realization of error only helps to add more tragedy to an already tragic scene. When one looks at Macbeth, however, in regardless to his good nature and character it is hard to find many examples in the work itself from Macbeth. At the beginning of the play Macbeth is being talk about by a few different people who all regard him as noble and goodly of nature. Macbeth is also a general in his countries military, like Othello, who is respected by the people under him, as well as his peers, as a man of great worth to his country. When Macbeth is first introduced though we see him being confronted by three witches who bring visions of grandeur. One would think this a good omen, but Macbeth seems unnerved by the whole thing. Macbeth’s friend, Banquo, asks him “good sir why do you start so...” wondering why his friend is not delighted and
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