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Othello essay: The extent to which Aristotle’s definition of a tragedy can be applied to the play.


Othello essay: The level to which Aristotle’s meaning of a disaster can be used to the play.Aristotle’s meaning

of’catastrophe ‘requires the audience to be exceptionally moved by the course of events. Discuss your action to the play by the end of the last scene. Discuss the degree to which you fit Aristotle’s definition. (Timed essay) Aristotle’s meaning of a catastrophe which requires the audience to be exceptionally moved by the course of occasions can be used to Othello, a play that closely follows the awful plot as outlined by Aristotle.

According to Aristotle, the awful character in a tragedy is a good individual, not all excellent or bad, who begins in a rank of high degree and importance and after that experiences a downfall due to an awful flaw, something of which the lead character Othello display screens. The failure of the main character (in this case Othello) is a reason which causes the reader to feel fantastic pity thus making it a disaster. At the beginning of the play Othello exists as a bold military war hero with the worthy rank of a general.

The audience witness him assert with pride in Act One: ‘I fetch my life and being/ From guys of royal siege, and my demerits/ Might speak unbonneted to as happy a fortune/ As this that I have reached’ (I. ii. 24-27). These lines indicate that Othello’s courageous military acts provide him a social status equivalent to royalty. It is also evidenced that others view Othello as a guy of reverence when a senator remarks in recommendation to Othello, “Here comes Brabantio and the valiant Moor” (I. iii. 55).

The audience, regardless of Iago and Rodrigo’s negative comments regarding Othello feel there is something honourable and sincere about his character. The audience feel Othello is a good-hearted military noble whose love with his young spouse, Desdemona is moving. Although Othello exists as males of high degree, he is not perfect; having traits that minimize his character. He might be worthy and courageous, yet he is likewise happy and envious. In addition, Shakespeare explains him as a Moor, or black male, a characteristic not connected with perfection during the time of the play.

When speaking to the Duke and Brabantio, Othello states, “Rude am I in speech …” (Othello, I. iii. 96). Here, Othello shows that his character is not without fault; he himself thinks he can not speak in the eloquent way of the royals. Iago the atrocious character right away discovers Othello’s defect, ultimately that of naivete. Although Othello is normally a really even-tempered man, as can be seen when he refuses to let Iago encourage him to snap at Roderigo, Iago still manages to perpetuate the disaster of the play by provoking the hamartia (tragic defect) of the protagonist.

Near the beginning of the play, Shakespeare’s clever demonstration of remarkable irony allows the reader to understand Othello’s tragic flaw in the truth that he hands his complete trust over to a man who is Janus-faced and dishonest. “… my ancient; a guy he is of sincerity and trust. To this conveyance I designate my better half”. The irony from this line lies in Othello’s mistaken belief of his ensign, Iago, who is currently outlining versus him for his own means.

After seeing Iago’s conspiracy with Roderigo at the ruination of Othello in the previous act, the reader right away sees Iago’s villainess, however in innocence; Othello is blinded to it and by it, however the audience is not without sympathy since they realise his defect is not in fact a defect in itself, but rather an excess of a great attribute. Aristotle claimed the tragic character did not pass to bad fortune by ‘vice or wickedness’ however by ‘some large scale piece of ignorance’ when it comes to Othello it is his naivety, that defects his judgement which is his; lack of knowledge’.

In addition Othello have an excellent pride, he avows, “My parts, my title, and my ideal soul/ Shall manifest me rightly” (I. ii. 36-37); with these lines, showing he thinks no harm can come to him due to the fact that of his status. His pride leads him to think that he is invincible and due to the fact that Othello believes highly of himself, he believes others will do the very same; his open and trusting nature allows Iago to take advantage of him. In the case of Othello, his pride and naivety ends up being deadly when coupled with the villainy of Iago.

Although the change of Othello from the virtuous lead character to a negligent better half murderer appears somewhat instant and might to some demonstrate how weak Othello is to fall so easily in Iago’s schemes one must know the maliciousness and crafty nature of Iago. Throughout the play we see Iago do everything he can to heighten the results of Othello’s tragic flaw and trigger it to work versus him. The most conniving element of Iago’s plots are continually seen throughout the play, when he discreetly betters his own image while ruining that of others.

An example of this can be seen in act II, scene II, while Iago is questioned by Othello concerning the reason for the “barbarous brawl.” “Touch me not so near./ I had rather have this tongue cut from my mouth/ than it must do offence to Michael Cassio; Yet I convince myself to speak the fact/ Shall nothing incorrect him.’ With this, Iago gives the impression of being reluctant to speak ill of a good friend although we know that it was in his strategy all along to set Cassio up so that he would be removed of his position.

This simple, however brilliant technique raises his reliability and fools the Othello along with Montano and Roderigo. In this sense the weak point in Othello’s awful character is not so profound especially in the light other characters are prone to Iago’s adjustment. As the play progresses, and Iago taints the mind of Othello more and more efficiently, Othello becomes significantly stricken with abnormal suspicion and damaging feeling which cause him to snap and end up being weak in every possible method. The latter is specifically the objective of Iago.

As an outcome of Othello’s relying on nature, Iago’s ‘monstrous’ ideas are permitted to permeate into his normally unwary mind and warp his thoughts and actions throughout the course of the play. The audience realise as a result of the pureness and truth in the love between Othello and Desdemona, Othello is stricken with sorrow when it is recommended that Desdemona has been unfaithful to him. He declines to think it at first, but by delegating unethical Iago to the job of finding the reality inevitably buries him much deeper in deceptions.

At a turning point in the play where he is tortured with disbelief and images in his mind, the generally collected Othello is seen weakening both physically and emotionally at the mercy of Iago. The audience understands had actually Othello not been so in love with Desdemona, had his marriage resembled that of Emila and Iago’s he might not have actually been so infuriated with the understanding of her disloyalty as to end up eliminating her and himself in the end.

Othello’s goodness as depicted through his great love for Desdemona renders him a tragic hero because although he is a well-intentioned virtuous person, he can likewise be encouraged into killing even that which is dearest to him. In Act IV, Scene I, we see Othello fall under a trance after falling victim once more to another among Iago’s malicious lies concerning the details of the fictional affair in between Desdemona and Cassio. “Lie on her? … Zounds! … Noses, ears, and lips? Is’t possible? -Confess? -Handkerchief-O devil! The marked sleepiness uncharacteristic of good-natured Othello followed by his physical collapse shows his final capture by Iago and the point where the tragic hero ends up being irreversibly cast into a state disobedience. Although in the play, Othello is characterised as a dignified general he still represents humankind, for he is plainly not a god and is not ‘pre-imminent in moral worths’ as Aristotle specified a terrible hero to be. It remains in this truth that Shakespeare successfully fulfils the final responsibility in the production of catastrophe; to captivate and impassion the audience in reaction to the actions of the tragic hero.

Prior to the implantation of Iago’s venom in his mind, we see Othello as a man worthwhile of respect. Nevertheless, as the play unfolds and Othello ends up being defenceless to his jealousy that steal his rationale and provokes him into violence, we begin to dislike Othello as we witness the evil in his acts. The reader is particularly impacted by the contrast in his nature when he strikes his caring better half in public as an outcome of the passion of his mistaken beliefs.

Finally after the unjustified and horrific murder of Desdemona, when Othello comes to recognize the scary of his doing, the audience reaches a catharsis, in which we are struck with sensations of pity and affection for the antagonist. Othello, totally ripped apart by the discovery of Iago’s plot then damns himself to hell out of guilt for his actions, “O cursed, cursed servant! Whip me, ye devils, from the belongings of the divine sight! Blow me about the winds! roast me in sulphur! … O Desdemona, Desdemona Dead! O! O! O! From the images of hell in Othello’s speech, it is clear that the hero has actually reached his ultimate doom and the effects of his hamartia have taken their ultimate toll. The audience finds solace, nevertheless, in knowing that the lead character does conquer the part of himself that has caused the tragedy (anagnoresis) although it is much too late. We are especially relocated Othello’s paradoxical speech when he reveals before his suicide, “Speak of one that liked not sensibly, however too well, of one not quickly envious however, being wrought, astonished in an extreme … It remains in this that Othello pertains to the awareness of the tragic flaw of his naivete and absence of wisdom that has actually resulted in the terrible situation. Nevertheless, as characteristic of tragedy, the hero has actually reached this realization too late, and he passes away leaving the reader distressed by the realm of events forming the catastrophe. The reason the audience is so impacted the catastrophe in Othello lies partly in the fact Othello’s defects are his human attributes. It is engaging and ravaging for the audience the excess of a virtue such as trust could have such a terrible effect on a male of such esteem.

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