This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Comparision Of The Tragic Characters In Othello And King Lear In Accordance With Aspects Of A Tragic Character.

1842 words - 7 pages

The Greek philosopher Aristotle set forth the guidelines for a tragedy in his work Poetics. According to Aristotle, the tragic character in a tragedy is a person, not all good or bad, who begins in a rank of high degree and importance and then experiences a downfall due to a tragic flaw. In the end of most tragedies, the character comes to a realization of his flaw after enduring a great deal of suffering. William Shakespeare, an English playwright of the 17th century, composed many tragedies, including King Lear and Othello, which exemplified the characteristics of a tragic hero outlined by Aristotle. The main characters in King Lear and Othello share many of the traits essential to tragic characters, yet they differ in their specific actions taken.At the start of the two plays, both King Lear and Othello are presented as men of a high rank and importance. Othello is presented as a courageous military war hero with the noble rank of a general. In Act 1, Othello boasts, "I fetch my life and being / From men of royal siege, and my demerits / May speak unbonneted to as proud a fortune / As this that I have reached" (Shakespeare, Othello, I.ii.24-27). These lines indicate that Othello's courageous military acts give him a social status comparable to royalty. It is evidenced that others view Othello as a man of high esteem when a senator remarks in reference to Othello, "Here comes Brabantio and the valiant Moor" (Othello, I.iii.55). King Lear appears to be a man of wealth, power, peace, and well being in the beginning of the play. Being a king, he has even more wealth and power than Othello; he controls the kingdom of England and possesses the absolute power common of monarchs during the time of the play. His entrance into the play is accompanied by the sounding of trumpets, signifying his importance. Furthermore, the language spoken by Lear and his daughters is high and courtly, as opposed to the prose spoken by other characters in the play. This language emphasizes the high rank of the king.Although Othello and King Lear are presented as men of high degree, they are both not perfect; each one possesses some traits that lessen their character. Othello is not all good or bad. He may be valiant and courageous, yet he is also proud and jealous. In addition, Shakespeare describes him as a Moor, or black man, a trait not associated with perfection during the time of the play. When speaking to the Duke and Brabantio, Othello states, "Rude am I in speech . . ." (Othello, I.iii.96). Here, Othello shows that his character is not without fault; he cannot speak in the eloquent manner of the royals. Lear character is flawed by the fact that he is an old man who behaves somewhat childlike and rash. This imperfectness is shown when he imprudently banishes his advisor Kent for defending Cordelia, pronouncing "Out of my sight!" without even considering Kent's reasoning (King Lear, I.i.158). Yet, despite his rashness, Lear will prove to be compassionate later on in...

Find Another Essay On Comparision of the tragic characters in Othello and King Lear in accordance with aspects of a tragic character.

Tragic Flaws Of Othello Essay

1078 words - 4 pages Jealousy and Gullibility: The Devastating Flaws of Othello “The tragic flaw is the most important part of the hero and the events that occur in the work is a reflection of that flaw.” – Aristotle The plot of William Shakespeare's Othello is a tale of love, jealousy, and betrayal; however, the characters, themes, and attitudes of the works are different, with Shakespeare's play being a more involved study of human nature and psychology

King Lear as a Tragic Hero

1588 words - 6 pages The play of King Lear is a tragedy like many of Shakespeare’s plays, and many of them deal with the tragic hero that end up meeting their demise thanks to their tragic flaw. The tragic hero of this play is King Lear, and he is a man that is a ruler of the kingdom of Britain in the 8th century B.C. He is a very old man surrounded by grave responsibilities, which are taking care of the land and taking care of the citizens of the kingdom. Lear the

The Tragic Fall Of Oedipus in Oedipus the King

817 words - 3 pages Tragic Fall Of Oedipus Rex in Sophocles' Oedipus Rex The tragic fall of Oedipus in Sophocles play “Oedipus Rex” is both self-inflicted and result of events drawn from his own destiny. First off early on in Oedipus’ life his first deadly mistake towards succeeding his self-inflicted downfall was the murder of his father the former king. In a blind rage without any motive, he kills Liaus and his men at a rode crossing. Fate may have had led

How Tragic Is King Lear?

2663 words - 11 pages Running Head: HOW TRAGIC IS KING LEAR?How Tragic Is King Lear?How Tragic Is King Lear?IntroductionA tragedy in Shakespearean terms could be defined as a "drama or literary work in which the main character, the tragic hero, is brought to ruin or suffers extreme sorrow, especially as a consequence of a tragic flaw, moral weakness, or inability to cope with unfavourable circumstances, such as death" (Shakespeare, 2007, 42-45). The central character

Pride and the Tragic Hero in Oedipus Rex and Othello

1225 words - 5 pages these falls, Oedipus and Othello reveal the true character of the tragic hero and show the devastating consequences of pride. Both Oedipus and Othello are distinguished by nobility: Oedipus by birth and deed and Othello by a distinguished career. Oedipus is the son of King Laius and Jocasta his wife, the king and queen of Thebes. Because of an oracle prophesying that King Laius will be murdered by his son, Oedipus is left to die in "the

The Role of Femininity in Shakespeare's Hamlet, Othello, and King Lear

2331 words - 9 pages The Role of Femininity in Shakespeare's Hamlet, Othello, and King Lear Hamlet, Othello, and King Lear similarly experience an "unhooking" (Tompkins) in the eponymous plays. These tragic figures struggle with internal and external femininity: after realizing their emotions and labeling them feminine, they identify women as the source of this negative femininity. Their inability to deal with the female gender in any form destabilizes their

Tragic Flaws of Othello and Oedipus Rex

1449 words - 6 pages the weakness of pride, which will bring them shame and losses. These flaws would unquestionably lead to their tragic endings. Pride is a fatal characteristic that is the major weakness of Othello and Oedipus. Not only did pride bring about the collapse of their lives, but brought death and agony to those that surrounded them. In Othello, Iago was toying with Othello’s pride (his major weakness). In doing that, Othello came to believe that his

Essay on King Lear, by Shakespeare. A discussion of three characters and their roles in the play

693 words - 3 pages fool is the only character in the play who Lear seems to like and take seriously. You could even say the fool is Lear's only friend. He uses his influence to chastise Lear when he does something foolish, and give him a good dose of truth whenever he needs it.Why, after I have cut the egg i' the middle, and eat up the meat, the two crowns of the egg. When thou clovest thy crown i' the middle, and gavest away both parts, thou borest thy ass on thy

The Tragic Flaw Of Shakespeare's "King Lear" Includes excerpts from the dialogue

3789 words - 15 pages that the King must not challenge the position that God has given him. This undermining of God's authority results in chaos that tears apartLear's world. Leaving him, in the end, with nothing. Following this Lear begins to banish those around him that genuinely care for him as at this stage he cannot see beyond the mask that the evil wear. He banishes Kent, a loyal servant to Lear, and his youngest and previously most loved daughter Cordelia. This

An Analysis of the Tragic Heros Othello and Okonkwo

1584 words - 7 pages I describe how Othello and Okonkwo are tragic heros with the use of character foils and character types. Although Othello is a dynamic character and Okonkwo is static, I still can classify them as a tragic heros. Using character foils allows us to see the characters progress through the book and change to the actions of others around them. In Shakespeare’s play Othello, two characters play a game of tug-a-war with Othello in the middle. At

Analytical paper on the tragic figure of Lancelot in T.H White's "Once And Future King"

1834 words - 7 pages the bad things he had done. Although held up to almost godlike stature in T.H. White's novel The Once And Future King, Lancelot was truly the most human character of them all.Lancelot's childhood was spent sequestered, training to be a knight in order to escape from his ugliness and give him something to be proud of. Lancelot wanted to be a knight because he felt that he was a depraved, lubricious soul. His hideously twisted visage was a sure

Similar Essays

Traglear Tragic Character In King Lear

945 words - 4 pages The Tragic Character in King Lear In William Shakespeare’s King Lear, the similar events that Lear and Gloucester experience result in a parallel plot sequence for the story. Lear and Gloucester are similar characters because they are experiencing similar problems while playing the role of a father. Their children also have a similar eagerness for power, a problem that both Lear and Gloucester should not have to deal with while addressing

Tragic Characters In Othello Essay

1132 words - 5 pages Tragic Characters in Othello "Tragedy as conceived by Shakespeare is concerned with the ruin or the restoration of the soul and of the life of men. In other words its subject is the struggle of good and in evil in the world" (Dowden 224). In the play Othello by William Shakespeare many elements of conflict between the main characters occur, imagery through skin colour and gifts and jealousy through love are evident throughout the play. One of

Traglear Tragic Hero In King Lear

1606 words - 6 pages main character in King Lear was affirmed as the tragic hero because the play meets all the requirements of a tragedy.   In order for a character to be qualified as a tragic hero, he must be in a high status on the social chain and the hero also possesses a tragic flaw that initiates the tragedy.  The fall of the hero is not felt by him alone but creates a chain reaction that affects everyone around him.  The hero should

A Comparison Of The Outcomes Of Othello And King Lear

558 words - 2 pages The Tragic Outcome of Othello and King Lear   Two Sources        In Othello and Lear, Shakespeare contrasts two endings that tragedy can bring.  As Lear is thrown from kingship, he begins to see through his previous misconceptions about love, justice, and the nature of authority.  Othello, on the other hand, held no real misconceptions about the world.  He begins the tragedy nearly