Tragic Status Of Othello

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Tragic status of Othello

Tragic status of Othello

Throughout the tragedy of Othello, by William Shakespeare, the audience is presented with a villainous victim, and thus is unsure if Othello can be granted the status of a tragic hero. In the final scene of Othello, the audience witnesses a jealously blinded Othello murder of his wife and it is only after the act has been committed that Othello realises his wrongs, and has a moment of antagonises. The final scene opens with a soliloquy from Othello in which he outlines his thoughts; he intends to kill his wife, but not to “shed her blood”. He sees he did this to take revenge and killed Desdemona to prevent her from betraying more men. Despite this blatant act of murder, Othello cannot be truly seen as a villain here, he states “Oh balmy breath that does almost persuade justice to break her sword”, and this highlights Othello's fatal flaw and his pride. Othello sees it as his duty to kill Desdemona for she is unjust, due to Othello's pride, as a general, he feels he must rid the world of the unjust. This scene illuminates the Hubris of the play, and signifies the wheel of fate, and how there must always be a fall which in this case is the fall of Othello.

The language of the final scene, especially that of Othello, is of a very ruthless nature, portrayed with short, concise sentences such as “Think of thy sins” creates a sinister sense of ambiguity to Othello, one which as not been seen before. Othello has been manipulated beyond the point of return by Iago, and instead of feeling hatred towards Othello, Pathos is created. The feeling of hatred from the audience is instead bestowed upon Iago, as they have witnessed his manipulation and known more about what was occurring in the play than the characters did. This allows for Othello to be pitied and not despised when he decides he must kill his wife, for it was not his conscious choice, he was manipulated into wanting to do so. This adds to his status as a tragic hero, as it symbolises the Hamartia within the play, as Othello's error of judgement (trusting Iago) combined with his excessive pride has led to his own downfall and led to peripetia, within the final scene.

The situation created in (Act V scene ii) is one of a most complex nature, Othello is granted with the choice to kill and options afterwards. His choice to commit suicide after the realisation that he was wrong in regards to Desdemona's faithfulness proves his total regret and dismay about killing his love and thus he finally realises that he was wrong to try and uphold his honour, “Why should honour outlive honesty”, this is the antagonises of the play, and poises the question was Othello to blame for Desdemona's death? Othello's innocence is not clearly apparent, especially as he did physically smother Desdemona, however, Emilia proves to ...
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