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Blindness To Reality Is One Of The Characteristics Of Shakespeare's Tragic Heroes. How Is This Blindness Exemplified In Othello's Case?

1101 words - 4 pages

A tragic hero is the main character in a play that takes a downfall or is ruined during the play. The tragic hero in this play is Othello, who is undoubtedly ruined in the course of this drama. Othello is very characteristic of a tragic hero. Othello is a man that shows much greatness throughout the play, as well as weaknesses. One of these weaknesses that Othello has is blindness to reality.Throughout his adult life he has been acclaimed for his many conquests throughout the land. He also shows greatness through his love for Desdemona.But that I love the gentle Desdemona,I would not my unhoused free conditionPut into circumscription and confineFor the seas' worth. (A1S2 lines 25-28)Othello is of strong character. He is very proud and in control of his every move throughout the play. The control is not only of power but also of the sense of his being who he is, a great warrior. In Act One, Othello has an unpleasant encounter with Brabantio, regarding his elopement with Brabantio's daughter, Desdemona. However, before anything could happen, Othello said:Hold your hands, both of you of my inclining and the rest.Were it my cue to fight, I should have known itWithout a prompter. (A1S2 lines 81-83)The power he shows here is quite astounding. Another dimension of Othello's strong nature is shown when Iago warns him of Brabantio's anger. Iago tries to persuade Othello to flee before Brabantio finds him. Othello's replies to Iago's persuasion shows the strength he has. He has confidence in himself and is calm.My services, which I have done the signory,Shall out-tongue his complaints (A1S2 lines 18-19)Not I: I must be foundMy parts, my title, and my perfect soulShall manifest me rightly (A1S2 lines 30-32)For all the dangers and encounters he has been involved in, Othello is still naïve ? he is blind to reality and this causes his downfall. This is concurrent with the persona of a tragic hero. Othello's blindness to reality is manifested in a number of ways, one of which is his blindness to human nature. It is through Othello's blindness where Iago manages to carry his diabolic plan to ruin Othello.Othello has an open and trusting nature. He is unaware of the corruptness of other individuals due to this quality. This can be seen from the number of times he refers to Iago has "honest Iago" and even calls Iago a man of "honesty and trust". In Act Three Scene Three, Othello's also mentions Iago in his soliloquy, describing him as a fellow of "exceeding honesty". The truth is that Iago is far from being honest and is probably the most hypocritical and deceitful character in the play. This blindness to Iago's true nature leaves Othello vulnerable to the latter's machinations and leads to Othello's downfall eventually. This is one of the most significant way in which Othello is blind to reality as it is a direct cause of his downfall. Due to Othello's blindness to Iago's malevolence and his absolute trust in Iago's words, Othello is easily led into...

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