Othello as a Tragedy of Character

1649 Words Apr 28th, 2008 7 Pages
Othello as “A Tragedy of Character”

“Tragedy of Othello/ The Moor of Venice” is a typical of classical tragedy and is regarded as the greatest work of William Shakespeare by many critics. While writing his play in 1604, Shakespeare adapted the story from Italian author Cynthio’s novella called Hecatammithi which was written in 1565. In order to bring a comment on play’s being “a tragedy of character” it’s necessary to emphasize on these points: general characteristics of classical tragedy, “Tragedy of Othello” as a unique form of classical tragedy, the complex relationships between the main characters such as Othello, Iago, Desdemona, and Emilia.

Aristotle-one of the great figures of ancient times’ art and philosophy- stated that the
…show more content…
At this point, as a characteristic of the classical tragedy, Othello turns out to be a “tragically divided character”: He’s divided between the choices of killing his innocent wife as a punishment or stop believing in Iago’s deceptions, tricks and forgiving his beloved Desdemona. But after the internal division and thoughts running through his mind (thinking that as she betrayed her father and broke the laws of the society by marrying with him secretly, she must have betrayed him too with adultery, and if she doesn’t die “she’ll betray more men”) Othello decides to murder her although she is pure and totally innocent. Desdemona is the one that always loved his husband and stayed loyal to him even by resisting her father while marrying with him. Shakespeare reveals these characteristics of Desdemona by these lines, when she’s about to die, Emilia (wife to Iago) asks the murderer of her and she answers: Nobody- I myself. Farewell. Commend me to my kind lord. O, farewell!
Instead of revealing his husband as the criminal she chooses to protect him. In fact Othello is deeply attached to his beloved Desdemona although he kills her, there are some crucial reasons for his killing Desdemona and thus becoming a “tragic hero”: firstly adultery was a sinful act and had to be punished in the Catholic structure of Venice, secondly he was a strict military men believing in absolute
Open Document