When asked to pick two plays of William Shakespeare, I could not help but think of my two favorite plays Othello and Hamlet. These are my favorite plays because in both it can be seen how the protagonist’s downfall was driven by themselves with help of others. For example, Hamlet is acting on instructions from his ghost father, while Othello was being manipulated by Iago. Each protagonist was put in a situation where their tragic flaws not only brought their downfall, but others as well, including their loved ones.
What lead Hamlet to his madness was his doubts and indecisiveness, while Othello downfall is thanks to his insecurity, which Iago takes advantage to easily mislead ...view middle of the document...
He, himself mentions it to Brabantio in Act I Scene III lines 83-84, “Rude am I in my speech,
And little blessed with the soft phrase of peace.” This is not the first time the reader encounters mention of Othello’s difference. For instance, Iago calls Othello the “old black ram” in Act I Scene I line 90. This forces us, the reader, to acknowledge that Othello is not the same as the other characters in the play. The reader is constantly reminded of this by Othello’s own words of justifying his actions to those around him. This was the key reason why Iago was able to enter into Othello’s thoughts and destroy his relationship with
Desdemona. Yet that wouldn’t be possible if not for Othello’s lack of confidence in his love for himself, which caused him to not trust Desdemona’s love either.
Iago knew this weakness and used Othello’s lack of confidence in himself to come up with an evil plan against Othello. While Othello is an honest and brave man, through his transparency of a character it is also easy to see how naïve he is about the motives of others. For example, throughout the play, Othello puts more and more trust in Iago, only demanding from him proof of Desdemona’s infidelity. Not once did Othello question “Honest” Iago’s motive or try to find proof through others. That is why Iago becomes the push or catalyst of turning Othello’s insecurities into rage and jealousy.
The same unfortunate series of events can be seen in the tragedy of Hamlet. Hamlet’s tragic flaw is his constant doubt and indecisiveness about the decisions he must make.
Hamlet is stuck between whether or not he should avenge his father’s death or leave the work of revenge to God. He is also thrust into figuring out who exactly killed his father. Though, he assumes it is his uncle Claudius who has murdered his father, his own plans to find out
Claudius’s motives result in his rash actions and harsh words. Hamlet’s madness serves as an act to disguise his true motives of discovering who was involved in his father’s murder.
His actions result in the death of Polonius, Ophelia, and eventually all of the characters.
The first instance of Hamlet’s insecurities causing his ultimate demise is in the love of his life, Ophelia, committing suicide because she is led to believe that Hamlet no longer loves her. Before Hamlet begins to fake his madness Hamlet professes his love and care for Ophelia to his mother and uncle, only after she has committed suicide. This can be seen in Act V Scene I lines 272-274, “I loved Ophelia. ...