Othello, the Moor of Venice is one of the major tragedies written by William Shakespeare that follows the main character, Othello through his trials and tribulations. Othello, the Moor of Venice is similar to William Shakespeare’s other tragedies and follows a set of specific rules of drama. The requirements include, following the definition of a tragedy, definition of tragic hero, containing a reversal of fortune, and a descent from happiness. William Shakespeare fulfills Aristotle’s requirements in this famous play.
Aristotle the famous philosopher outlined several requirements in which a play or piece of drama is to follow.
The first rule that is met in Shakespeare’s play is that Othello is considered tragic hero, which every tragedy must contain. According to Aristotle, the tragic hero must be a man in a position of power who is a good person and makes a mistake during the timeline of the play due to a tragic flaw. Othello’s major flaw can be seen as jealousy: “Othello has often been described as a tragedy of character, as the play’s protagonist swiftly descends into a rage of jealousy
that completely destroys his life”("Othello"). Othello is shown he is a good man within the first few scenes of the play: “She wished she had not heard it; yet she wished That heaven had made her such a man” (1.3.162-163). This line in Act I spoken by Othello, is an indication that he is a good person although it may appear that he has stolen Desdemona away from her father. Othello speaks that although he has taken Desdemona as his wife without Brabantio’s consent, he is a good person for stating his reasons for his actions as well as standing his ground. After Othello’s marriage to Desdemona, the conflict is started when Iago insinuates that Desdemona may be having an affair with Cassio, Othello’s honorable lieutenant. At this point of Shakespeare’s drama, it is not through Iago’s manipulation alone but also due to Othello’s tragic flaw. Othello’s tragic flaw can be viewed as jealously which ultimately leads to his downfall. When Othello is manipulated by Iago to believe that Desdemona is having an affair with Desdemona, Othello does not change from his good person mentality. However, Othello carries out with the plan for murder for which he believes is a fine reason to end Desdemona’s once previous life to preserve her innocence. Othello is the tragic hero within the play titled after him and because of his title, because of this Othello, the Moor of Venice follows one of Aristotle’s requirements.
Aristotle’s second requirement for a tragedy is that the tragic hero must have a reversal of fortune. In the beginning of the play, Othello is seen as content with his new bride: “For know, Iago, But that I love the gentle Desdemona” (1.2.24-25). As the play progresses, and Iago’s plan culminates, Othello’s good fortune begins to turn. After Othello returns from war at sea with the Turks, his fortune begins a downward spiral. Shakespeare often focuses his...