“Othello’s Virtue and Valour Ultimately Make Him Admirable.” to What Extent Do You Agree with This View?

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The idea of heroism is one often associated with virtue, courage and valour. Within Othello, Shakespeare questions the meaning behind heroism and admirability in the context of a Venetian society, in which the play is set. Through the tragic descent of Othello’s composure and his actions, the audience is left to wonder whether or not his virtue and presentation as an admirable general and hero, actually exists. Act 1 of the play presents Othello's decisions and behaviour as the epitome of virtue and valour, showing him as a high statured character - the definition of a tragic hero in Aristotelian methods, as it demands a character of greatness to suffer the greatest downfall. Although not necessarily presented as high born, he is deemed to…show more content…
However, by the formal introduction of the rumoured moor in Act 1 Scene 2 and his monologue in Scene 3, our previous doubts of Othello’s character diminish. The magnificence of Othello shines through through his behaviour and rhetoric, becoming a juxtaposing image of a ‘Valiant Othello’ both the Duke and senators speak of. “Rude am i in my speech” proves Othello’s confidence and elegance in his language. The use of the rhythmic Iambic Pentameter within his monologue suggests a well thought out and educated response from Othello, Shakespeare decides to gift his character with eloquent and virtuous speech in order to highlight his composure as a hero and admirable character. His measured language is a sign of his confidence, self-discipline and virtue, thus agreeing to his admirability of being the tragic hero. By Othello’s declaration of his love for Desdemona and undoubtable respect for those who surround him, we are reminded that Othello is a war hero, and a General to be admired. Shakespeare carefully chooses the Senate and Duke, all well reputable and influential figures of venice, to press the name ‘Valiant moor’ into the audience’s mind, this is to deliberately counteract the damage Iago made to Othello’s character and image within the first act. However, when Shakespeare places Othello away from the power of Venetian society, Othello is exposed to his weaknesses, can be viewed as far from virtuous. We are thus able to view Othello as a character easily

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