The Devastating Flaws of Othello
By: Ryan Mongon
"The tragic flaw is the most important part of the hero and the events that occur in the work is a reflection of that flaw." Aristotle
The plot of William Shakespeare's Othello is a tale of love, jealousy, and betrayal; however, the characters, themes, and attitudes of the works are different, with Shakespeare's play being a more involved study of human nature and psychology. Othello is considered to be a prime example of Aristotelian drama. It focuses upon a very small cast of characters, one of the smallest used in Shakespeare. Also, it has few distractions from the main plot, and concentrates on just a few themes, like jealousy. In Shakespeare's …show more content…
Othello's innocence and baseness makes him susceptible to being undermined by people. Iago also reveals his plan to use the Moor's gullibility against him.
Othello is clearly a person who believes appearances versus reality. When Othello was told about an affair between Desdemona and Cassio, he started to become jealous. Being that person who believes appearances, he wanted ocular proof of Desdemona's unfaithfulness. Even a superficial piece of evidence would have been sufficient. In his statement, "Give me a living reason she is disloyal." (3:3:147:466) Othello revealed that he would believe in anything he saw. This is a clear example of his gullibility and that appearances can fool him. The tragic flaw of gullibility leads his feelings to make bad judgments. Othello's gullibility is very evident to Iago, and his free and open nature makes him vulnerable to being tricked by Iago. Therefore, when the initial rumor of an affair between Desdemona and Cassio was implanted in Othello's head, Iago built up his trust with the Moor by saying, "O, beware, my lord of jealousy! It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on."(3:3:129:195-197) Othello eventually becomes overtaken with all of the jealousy that is in his mind. Othello is furious at "Iago. Othello then plans to murder Desdemona and Cassio, while Iago agrees to help. When Othello finally went through with his plan, the dying Desdemona reassures her faith to him.