Othello: Shakespeare’s Most Tragic Play
William Shakespeare have written many plays. His most tragic play is Othello.
Othello is also the name of the main character in the play, he is quite hard to
understand. In order to have a better understanding of Othello’s character,
examining his changes throughout the play, flaws and why he is considered a
tragic hero will give the reader an insight of his overall personality.
Othello changes many times throughout the course of the play. At the
beginning of the play Othello trusts Desdemona with everything, but throughout
the play he loses confident in her because he listens to Iago’s suggestions
about her. “‘Cassio, my lord? No, sure, I cannot think it That he would sneak
away so guilty like, Seeing you come.'” (Shakespeare 105). He shows disrespect
to Desdemona in front of other people. “‘Devil’ he strikes her I have not
deserved this.'” (141). Othello changes even more dramatically because of the
poison suggestions that Iago has given him. He goes out of control and
eventually kills Desdemona thinking that she has did something wrong.
Othello has many tragic flaws. He is a really gullible person, for
example he was tricked by Iago; thinking that Desdemona was really having an
affair with Cassio. ” ‘ Did he confess it?'” (134). He trusts Iago too much
and totally relies on Iago therefore making him really vulnerable to Iago’s
evilish schemes. Othello’s gullibility causes him to be jealous. He let’s his
jealousy take over, he looses control of himself and acts on his jealous
emotions, he let’s his jealousy clutter his mind and good judgment. “‘Damn her,
lewd minx! O, damn her, damn her! Come go with me part. I will withdraw To
furnish me with some swift means of death. For the fair devil. Now are the my
lieutenant'” (122). Othello’s other flaw is his anger. Othello acts upon his
anger and therefore ends up doing the things he regrets afterwards. “‘It is too
late.’ ‘O Lord, O Lord, Lord!’ he smothers her”(168). Therefore by examining
those points Othello has many tragic flaws in him.
Othello is considered a tragic hero because he fights for the people in
Venice in Cyprus. “‘The Turk with a most mighty preparation makes for Cyprus.
Othello, the fortitude of the place is best known to you.” (70). He is
looked upon as a hero by the Duke of Venice. The Duke praises Othello for his
abilities and accomplishments. He is considered to be tragic because he has
fallen in to the trap of Iago. Also Othello ends up killing Desdemona and then
commits suicide for the wrongful slaying of his wife. “‘ I took by th’throat
the circumcised dog And smote him thus.’ He stabs himself” (180). The moor
kills himself because he takes responsibility for what he did, which makes him
the tragic hero.
Othello is considered the most tragic Shakespeare play. Othello is a
character of many possibilities. His character is quite intriguing, the changes
he goes through, the flaws among him and why he is considered a tragic hero
gives us a detailed explanation of Othello as an overall person.