Othello

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Othello The name William Shakespeare is certainly one of a timeless notoriety, belonging to one of the most famous playwrights of all time. This literary genius authored numerous plays and sonnets, captivating his diverse audiences with both comedy and tragedy, although the latter category has been identified as his point of particular strength. Like those of many other authors, Shakespeare’s catastrophic story lines adhered to the outline of Aristotle’s classic tragedy. The play Othello, well known as one of Shakespeare’s four great tragedies, proves to be an excellent example of this statement. In Aristotle’s observations, he first realized that every great tragedy had a character that was larger than life. In the play Othello, the title character himself proves to follow this standard. Shakespeare required that a large actor take on the role of the Moor, making him quite intimidating. Adding to his superiority, is his high military position. It is quite clear that Shakespeare’s intention was to show Othello’s physical dominance over his peers. Unfortunately, his wit, in contrast, leaves much to be desired. This leads to Aristotle’s next observation: the main character in every great tragedy has a fatal flaw that will inevitably lead to his/her downfall. As previously mentioned, Othello was too easily duped by the trickery of his untrustworthy sidekick, Iago. Naivete blinded him from the deception of his inferior until, of course, it was far too late. Iago spoke of his gullible nature: “The Moor is of a free and open nature that thinks men honest that but seem so, and will as tenderly be led by th’ nose as asses are.” (I, iii, 442-445). Othello recognized his own folly at the conclusion to the tragic tale, left only with grief and repentance as his sole companions: “Then must you speak of one who loved not wisely, but too well.” (IV, ii, 403-405). A major turning point in the story of the misguided Moor occurs when Othello makes an important choice—the decision to believe Iago over the trust of his wife. When he accepts the rumors of Cassio and Desdemona as truth, he fulfills another aspect of Aristotle’s tragedy: he makes the moment of choice that decides his ending, deplorable state. He could have chosen to ignore the conniving Iago and retain faith in his wife’s truth of character, but, like the fallen hero, he makes the wrong decision, stating, “All my fond love thus I do blow to Heaven.” (III, iii, 505). As Aristotle predicts, it is this fateful, irrevocable choice that single-handedly decides his undesired end. Aristotle’s final observation was that in every great tragedy, the tragic hero would have a moment of realization after they had already made their unchangeable mistake. For Othello, this moment comes after he kills Desdemona. Emilia, wife of Iago, rev

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