25 February 2013
William Shakespeare’s tragedy “Othello” utilizes historical criticism, emotional appeal, and symbolism in order to portray Othello as a tragic hero. It’s a common belief that Othello is one of the most prime examples of a tragic hero, and rightfully so. He is a strong, well liked, leader who is full of passion for his people and his lady, Desdemona. Othello is fed false information by a close friend, Iago, who is jealous of Othello’s happiness and power. Iago plants seeds in Othello’s mind, slowly plaguing him into believing the ultimate misconception that his wife is having an affair. These lies drive Othello absolutely mad; they’re all he can think about. Eventually these lies lead the play down a road of tragedy and death, leaving many readers in fear of Iago and his evil, as well as with feelings of pity for Othello and all of his misfortune. History tells us that a tragic hero is when a great man suffers a change in fortune from happiness to misery because of a mistaken act, one that is led to by his “tragic flaw.” Othello’s tragic flaw was letting his deep burning love for Desdemona cloud his judgment. Iago knew this so he did his very best to execute his plan based on the fact that if he twisted things to be as believable as he could, that no matter how much Othello wanted to deny it, he could not. ` Othello’s personality attracts people, including Desdemona. Not only does he possess great character and courage, but also he has dignity. Another characteristic of Othello is his trustfulness. He is the honest, trustworthy person, so he believes that he can do the same with others. While trusting others very well can be a good characteristic, it is also part of Othello’s tragic flaw that is self-inflicted. It is because he trusts people so easily, something I think most people can relate to at least a little bit, that he had such a horrific downfall. Othello does not see the evilness in Iago and his malicious acts. All of these reasons and more are why this tragedy brings so much emotional appeal.
Othello commits his first act of violence against Desdemona by hitting her. He is told by Iago that she has given a handkerchief (previously given to her by Othello) to Michael Casio, her suspected forbidden lover. This handkerchief symbolizes Othello’s deep love and trust in Desdemona,