oyhello tragic hero






What is a tragic hero? A tragic hero is the protagonist in the play who usually is faced with some opposing force whether internal or external. In order to be a tragic hero, one has to have the following characteristics: (1) be a nobleman, prince, or person of high estate; (2) have a tragic flaw, and a weakness in judgement; and (3) fall from high to low estate. These can be seen in Shakespeare\'s "Othello" which discusses the downfall of a noble man because of his flaws that are not actually defects in itself, but rather the excess of a virtue. All throughout this paper, I will discuss how Othello was being said as a nobleman and how his attributes became his tragic flaws that caused his downfall.
We can say that Othello is a nobleman because of the respect brought forth by the people of Cyprus in the first scene of the second act, when Montano, the Governor of Cyprus, is awaiting the arrival of Othello\'s ship, he remarked:
" Pray heaven he be,
For I have served him, and the man commands
Like a full soldier…
As to throw out our eyes for brave Othello…"
(II.i.36-40)

In this text, we can see that he is a proven leader of men and known for his military knowledge and skills. As a matter of fact, his soldiers hold him in awe, and throughout the play he is referred to as a captain whom do his comrades respect.
On the other hand, his noble attributes such as self-confidence, generous trust and love became the perfect concoction which eventually lead to his destruction. In other words his positive attributes are responsible for bringing out his negative side, his flaws in character. In the case of his self-confidence, it is clear at first that Othello regarded himself with high esteem. This is clearly evident when he made a stand before Brabantio, Roderigo, and Iago in act 1, scene2. He said, "Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them…" (I.ii.60). At this point in time, Othello is not afraid to face Brabantio eventhough he knew that Brabantio is furious with him for allegedly seducing his daughter, Desdemona, through witchcraft. He treated the situation in an even-tempered manner in a way that his self-confidence is not tattered. He did not engage in bloody fight but instead he talked with Brabantio in peaceful means. This shows his great respect to Brabantio not only because he is his father-in-law but also because Brabantio is a noted senator in Venice. And this also shows his great knowledge in handling difficult situation. But when he discovered about the so-called "unfaithfulness" of Desdemona through Iago his confidence crumbled into pieces. He was enveloped in insecurities and pitying himself like he\'s too old for Desdemona and he\'s a dark man, not only because he is black, but also because there\'s a dark spot in his inner self.
Another positive attribute that brings out his flaws is his generous trust. At first, Othello\'s trust is with Desdemona. In fact, he had second thoughts in Iago\'s statement. He told Iago that he needs proofs of Desdemona\'s unfaithfulness in order for him to believe on what he\'s saying. Othello said to Iago, "I do not think but Desdemona\'s honest:"(III.iii.241) This only shows that Othello at this time doesn\'t believe Iago. But when Othello\'s trusting nature was seemingly transferred to Iago, it became his greatest character fault in the play. He trusted the wrong person. Instead of giving her trust to Desdemona he gives his full trust to Iago that caused his downfall. This can be seen when Othello and Iago exchanged vows to each other. Othello said to Iago,
"Even so my bloody thoughts, with violent pace,
Shall ne\'er look back, ne\'er ebb to humble love,
Till that capable and wide revenge
Swallow them up…
(kneeling) In the due reverence of a sacred vow
I here engage my words."
(III.iii.478-479)

Iago\'s villainess is mask in his so called innocence and it effectively blinded Othello. He replied to him also kneeling,
"…Witness, you ever-burning lights above,
You elements that clip us round about,
Witness that here Iago doth give up
The execution of his wit, hands, heart,
To wronged Othello\'s service! Let him command,
And to obey shall be in me remorse,
What bloody business ever."
(III.iii.479-484)


This