Othello Argumentative Essay | Iago | Othello
Othello Argumentative Essay Shakespeare is known to have produced several plays that can be labeled as tragedies. These ...
Jordan Khan March 10, 2016 ENG3UI-06 Mr. Mr. Tofolett ofo lettii
Othello r!"#entati$e E%%a& Shakespeare is known to have produced several plays that can be labeled as tragedies. These tragedies focus around a central character with great potential, a protagonist, who suffers suffers because of a significant flaw flaw in their character, character, called called a “hamartia”. This protagonist becomes a “tragic hero” and at first we feel “pathos” or sympathy for them. They also show “hubris” or excessive self-confidence self-confidence which can become offensive offensive or harmful to others. Furthermore, the audience experiences “catharsis” or the purging of all emotions at some point. inally there is the catastrophe, the point where all hell breaks loose and the tragic hero meets their demise. !ristotle defines tragedy like this" “Tragedy, then, is an imitation of an action that is serious and complete, and which has some greatness about it. #t imitates in words with pleasant accompaniments, each type belonging separately to the different parts of the work. #t imitates people performing actions and and does not rely on narration. narration. #t achieves, through pity and fear, the catharsis of these sorts of feelings.” $e tells us that a tragedy imitates realistic actions, and can therefore be considered a drama. $e also explains that it re%uires a plot with a beginning, middle, and end. &nce again, catharsis is mentioned as an important part of tragedy to show the purifying of emotions through pity and fear. &ne of Shakespeare's plays, &thello, is a good example of a tragedy because it displays the elements of tragedy (hamartia, pathos, hubris, catharsis, and catastrophe) and other properties such as the ones explained by !ristotle. &thello is shown to have a hamartia of extreme *ealousy throughout the play. #t is actually stated directly a few times in the play" “&, beware, my lord, of *ealousy+ #t is the green-eyed monster which doth mock” (..-/). $ere, #ago is actually warning &thello not to fall prey to *ealousy and suspect 0esdemona of cheating on him with 1assio. &thello is afraid to lose his most pri2ed possession, 0esdemona. What is more, he is even more *ealous because of his racial insecurities, and he thinks that he is losing her to a white man due to his race. Not only did &thello let his race cloud his *udgement, but also the manipulation of #ago. #ago comes across as honest and trying to protect him from *ealously, even though he is actually exploiting his hamartia. On the other hand,
the handkerchief is a piece of false evidence which further induces his *ealousy. &thello thinks that the handkerchief is a representation of their love. If it is lost, 0esdemona is lost. While his *udgement is clouded by *ealousy, he starts to be believe all of the evidence and all of what #ago says. With regards to the handkerchief, when &thello comes looking for it, 3milia reali2es he is *ealous “#s he not *ealous4”, and attempts to warn 0esdemona. !t the end of the play, &thello acknowledges what he did was wrong, but thinks that he is not a *ealous man by nature “&f one not easily *ealous, but being wrought, perplexed in the extreme.” (5/-5). &thello thinks here that once he was tricked by #ago, he became extremely mad and confused. Considering all of this, &thello is a tragic hero, clearly shown to have a ma*or flaw of *ealousy, and the element of hamartia exists as an important part of the play. In spite of &thello's hamartia, we still feel sympathy or pathos for him. !t the start of the play, the first people we meet are #ago, 6oderigo, and 7rabantio. These three men are all *ealous and want to go against &thello, who we know is a good, accomplished noble. #ago and 6oderigo often state their evil plans to the audience “# hate the 8oor, and it is thought abroad, that 9twixt my sheets 9has done my office.” (..5:;-5), and they use many racist terms in the play e see him suffer with his own self and go through fits. >e actually start to feel less pathos for &thello, and more to others such as 0esdemona as the play approaches the climax. Although, at some point we may lose all respect for &thello when he causes misery due to his own flaw, we feel the element of pathos for &thello when he is bullied by other characters.
$ubris or excessive self-confidence is shown by &thello in the play multiple times with its connection to his hamartia and downfall. 0uring the court in front of the 0uke, &thello shows his large pride in his title and achievements. >e know that he told stories to 7rabantio about his accomplishments “$er father loved me, oft invited me, still %uestioned me the story of my life from year to year, the battles, sieges, fortunes, that # have passed. # ran it through, even from my boyish days, to th9 very moment that he bade me tell it.” (..?-/). Being that, 0esdemona was drawn to him by the stories and it further showed his self-pride. &thello's pride prevents him from seeing what is wrong, especially his own thoughts. $e cannot reali2e that it is him who is being disloyal, rather
than 0esdemona. Since &thello thinks he couldn't possibly be wrong in his *udgement, he doesn't bother to talk to 0esdemona about it. Similarly to his *ealousy, his hubris clouds his *udgement and leads to his downfall.
&thello greatly changed our feelings about him at the end of the play, where we feel catharsis. Throughout the play we are feeling pathos for &thello, but our feelings completely change when he kills 0esdemona. !t this point we can see that he has evil within him, and we lose respect for him. >e feel a lot of stress during this time because something horrible has happened. !fter this catastrophe, &thello admits the things he has done wrong “&f one that loved not wisely, but too well. &f one not easily *ealous, but being wrought, perplexed in the extreme. &f one whose hand, like the base #ndian, threw a pearl away richer than all his tribe. &f one whose subdued eyes, albeit unused to the melting mood, drop tears as fast as the !rabian trees their medicinal gum.” (/.:.:-@?). $e reali2es his mistakes and, in a sense, redeems himself. >e feel catharsis, a cleansing of emotions, as through this final struggle, we understand the previous struggles he went through. #t is a tragic event of course, but nonetheless a resolution. espite a loss of good, evil is defeated. The play gives us a feeling of catharsis, as we finish the tragedy feeling relieved of the unfortunate events, rather than depressed by them. &n the sub*ect of catharsis, even though there is relief, the play still ends with numerous deaths, a catastrophe. Aot able to see his mistakes in time, &thello strangles 0esdemona, killing her. >e can see that his mind is made up and because of his flaws, &thello won't listen to anything 0esdemona says. $ere, from &thello, 3milia discovers the villainy of her husband #ago, who kills her. #ago is wounded by &thello as !ell as arrested. "ranted his actions, we have lost sympathy and respect for &thello at this point. Additionally, though we have known #ago's villainy through the entire play, all the characters now learn of his crimes. This catastrophe is the tragic moment that &thello's hamartia brought into being with aid from #ago's manipulation. The elements of tragedy present in this play show that &thello can be considered a classic Shakespearean tragedy. &thello proves himself to be a tragic hero with a hamartia of *ealously which moreover brings his downfall. >e feel pathos for the protagonist as characters such as #ago show racism and try to manipulate him. $ubris is also shown by &thello as he fails to see the possibility of himself being wrong. >e feel catharsis when he owns up to his faults after killing his wife. >e see the horrible end result of catastrophe involving the death of the protagonist and other ma*or characters. >ith a clear beginning, middle, and end, the play also has a defined plot. >ith all these elements present, we can consider &thello a tragedy.