The Building Blocks Of A Tragic Hero

1081 words - 4 pages

Imperfection, manipulation and ignorance are the perfect ingredients for creating a tragic hero. A great example of a person displaying these traits would be no other than Othello, from William Shakespeare’s play “Othello”. Throughout the play, Othello is manipulated and as a result he becomes extremely jealous and angry with the ones he loves. Othello is easily manipulated by the conversations between Iago and himself. Othello’s tragedy is caused because of personal flaws, and misguided trust in others, which is evident as his dialect, and behaviours change throughout the play.
Othello’s own flaws and insecurities; jealousy, rage, insecurities and misguided trust in others contribute to his tragic downfall. Othello begins to doubt his love for Desdemona because of Iago’s influence. “O curse of marriage, /That we can call these delicate creatures ours/And not their appetites! I had rather be a toad/And live upon the vapour of a dungeon/ Than keep a corner in the thing I love for other’s uses.” (III.iii.270- 75) Othello declares that he would rather be a loathsome creature than love his wife Desdemona who he believes is not faithful anymore. Othello is uncertain about his love for Desdemona and her love for him yet he does not confront her about the situation. Othello’s suspicions and jealousy leads him to misinterpret situations “It is not words that shake me thus. Pish!/ Noses, ears and lips. Is’t possible?--Confess? / Handkerchief? O devil” (IV.i.41-43). Othello becomes angry with Desdemona because she has misplaced the handkerchief that he has given her as a gift. As a result, Othello now believes that she loves someone else. Instead of finding out where the handkerchief actually is, or listening to what Desdemona has to say, he starts to doubt the truth and disregards anyone who says different from what he believes, making him even more enraged. Othello is manipulated by Iago’s comments and accounts of events. “Do it not with poison; strangle her in her bed, even the/ bed she hath contaminated.” (V.i.202-03) Othello is completely blind sided by Iago’s false information and manipulation of the truth. Othello becomes despiteful towards Desdemona and agrees to the murder of his wife in their bed, even though she is innocent. Othello ignores the love he has for his wife and easily accepts Iago’s ideas. Consequently, Othello’s own mistakes and flaws lead him to homicide at the end of the play.
Othello’s misguided trust in Iago leads to Othello’ s downfall. The precious handkerchief that belonged to Othello’s mother, then wife, creates the building blocks for his tragedy. Othello tells Desdemona to leave the handkerchief alone, even though it was very important to both of them. “Your napkin is too little. ‘He puts handkerchief from him, and she drops it.’ Let it alone. Come I’ll go in with you.” (III.iii.289- 90) They act as if the handkerchief is not important and that they will leave to go out for the night with out even worrying about...

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