Tragedy Essay

Submitted By sophiemaycox
Words: 1296
Pages: 6

Question: How have the texts you have studied shaped your understanding of the powerful impact of tragedy on individuals? In your response you must refer to ‘Othello’ and at least one other text of your own choosing.

What magnifies the sense of tragedy in each of these texts is the dramatic loss experienced by innocent individuals who are victims of powerful personal and social dynamics. Experiencing tragedy has a profound, powerful impact on individuals. The strong use of language devices in tragic texts shape views about individual suffering, which profoundly engages the audience. This is evident in Othello a tragic play by Shakespeare based upon manipulation and lies, The Gift a short film narrated by Gwyneth Paltrow about a horrible, fatal disease, and We are Going a poem by Ooderoo Noonucal based on the loss of Aboriginal cultural identity. The tragedy lies in the theme of innocence, which shapes the powerful, lasting impact of tragedy on individuals.

Within Shakespeare’s tragic drama, Othello, immense loss and suffering is a product of the mechanics of manipulation and deceit in the pursuit for power. My understanding of the powerful impact of tragedy on individuals is represented through Iago’s lies and manipulation that prove to be stronger than Othello’s love and faith in Desdemona. The audience is immediately positioned to respond to Iago’s…. are profoundly surprised at Othello’s naivety, when he says “This fellows of exceeding honesty.” The dramatic irony of this line shapes the powerful impact of tragedy because the audience witnesses Othello fall into Iago’s manipulative trap. The tragedy lies in the fact that little does he know, that Iago is a two faced, ambiguous character whose actions leave a long lasting, tragic impact on the individuals of the play.

Topic sentence: In addition, the play elucidates how tragedy is intensified when the victim is notably innocent and underserving of the loss they experience. Desdemona’s innocence and purity is emphasised to reinforce the sense of tragedy, and the unnecessary loss of the relationship once Iago has manipulated Othello’s trusting yet jealous nature. Desdemona’s innocence-
“my noble Moor is true of mind, and made of no such baseness as jealous creatures are,” Desdemona’s naivety is emphasised through the positive connotations of her perception of Othello as “noble” and “true of mind” in contrast to “baseness” and dehumanized language, “creatures,” which intensifies the tragedy because it shows her naivety as she is unaware to which the extent Othello has been manipulated and altered, heightening the sense of tragedy. The metaphor in “Ild whistle her off and let her down the wind”, shows just how easily Othello is willing to believe Iago’s deceitful claims, and let go of the relationship he has with Desdemona. “O curse of marriage that we can call these delicate creatures ours And not their appetites” is said in a regretful tone and the juxtaposition of “delicate” with “creatures” and “appetites” portrays Desdemona to be “delicate” like a dove yet contrasted by a greedy beast of “appetite”. This shapes understanding of the powerful impact of tragedy on individuals because we see the profound affect Iagos deceitful powers have on clouding Othello’s false perceptions of Desdemona. “Id rather be a toad and live upon the vapor of a dungeon, than keep a corner in the thing I love for others uses” is an animal metaphor used to suggest that Othello would rather live in a moldy dungeon than stay with her, and Othello’s gullibility shapes our understanding of the powerful impact that tragedy can have on an individuals relationship. “Tis destiny unshunnable like death” is another tragic quote said by Othello, meaning it was his destiny to be betrayed, and using a simile he compares it to a dark feeling of death. Thus, due to Iagos manipulative ways, it shows the power and impact he has on the tragedy of the individuals of the play including Othello and Desdemona.