The Othello Catastrophe
A “awful hero” as specified by Aristotle is that the main character should go through four important phases within the text. The phases that Aristotle states the character needs to go through need to entirely result in his or her own complete failure. These four phases in which Aristotle states is: Perietia, hamartia, Catharsis, and Anagnorisis. Finally Aristotle specifies that the awful hero must be a nobleman or a male of terrific stature.
Yet by Othello having such positive elements they are responsible for bringing out his flaws in character. His flaws include his all too trusting nature and his ultimate insecurities in himself that arise in the form of jealousy for his better half Desdemona. These defects begin to surface following his decision to choose Cassio, as opposed to Iago, as his lieutenant. He did so due to the fact that he felt Cassio was well versed in the military sciences and Iago had merely proven himself on the battleground as a warrior, not always a leader.
The confidence Othello has in himself and his nerve are clearly apparent when Othello makes a stand prior to Barbantio, Roderigo and Iago, when following the illustration of their swords, Othello, as opposed to withdrawing in the face of risk taunts “Maintain your intense swords, for the dew will rust them.” (Act 1, Scene 2, Page 4) Shakespeare continues to represent Othello as a well-respected nobleman throughout his play, from beginning to end. Othello on the contrary, is nonetheless a simple target to insecurities because of his age, his life as a soldier, and his self-consciousness about his race and culture.
He has a free and open nature that his ensign Iago capitalizes upon to twist Othello’s love for his other half, Desdemona, into an effective and harmful jealousy. Othello’s jealousy and love for Desdemona nevertheless is his hamartia. Which in Aristotle’s Poetics implies, the tragic or deadly flaw of the character that causes his/her failure. The first and effectively the greatest flaw within Othello is his jealousy. Like a real wicked genius, Iago plays upon Othello’s own worries and reinforces those worries with lies and tips.
Iago manipulates the scenario so that Cassio is in a position to ask Desdemona for help. He then waits Othello’s side, proclaiming concern for his pal, and questioning Desdemona’s fidelity since she promoted Cassio. By stealing Desdemona’s scarf, Iago is able to plant it within Cassio’s room and offer evidence for his own lies. However Othello does not really think Iago because he understands that Cassio and Desdemona are friendly and trusts the stability and truthfully of both of them.
This first isn’t really an evidence to be creditable but simply enough to make Othello disbelieve both of them, just enough for Iago’s planned revenge to work. By doing this and telling Othello of Cassio and Desdemona’s fake relationship, Iago’s plan is starting to work in favor of Iago. At a time when Othello is depressed and thinking of such things Iago feeds him more “proof” telling Othello that a person night Cassio was discussing Desdemona in his sleep. Lastly, Iago arranges for Othello to overhear a conversation in between himself (Iago) and Cassio so that Othello thinks he is hearing a confession from Cassio.
When Iago lastly controls Othello to murder his better half, Othello accepts it. This is the Catharsis within the play meaning when the audience is purged of all psychological feeling for the primary character. Yet quickly after the killing of his better half Othello recognizes Anagnorisis, or an important discovery. When Othello makes the discovery what Iago has actually been doing to him Othello murders himself which as the meaning of Aristotle’s hamartia states: the great defect or mistake that should cause his or her failure.
Othello’s second excellent flaw is his all to trusting nature. Othello falls victim to the innovative Iago and willingly selects to trust him rather than his wife, Desdemona, ultimately collaborate to outline her death. This is mainly credited to Othello’s high regard of Iago as a pal, in addition to Iago’s manipulation of Othello’s insecurities including both his place in Venetian society and within his marital relationship. His improving view of women likewise put further factor for Othello to rely on Iago over Desdemona.
Finally, it is the obvious “evidence” that Iago offers Othello with worrying the supposed affair of Cassio and Desdemona that unmistakable sways all of Othello’s trust from Desdemona and into the vicious hands of Iago. From Act 1, Othello’s implied trust towards Iago is made clear. He holds firm belief and dependability in Iago’s declarations and thoughts, confiding in him regularly. Yet by doing this Othello in terms as much is plotting his own failure by confiding in the “trustworthy Iago.” Iago himself from the start of the play is outlining his vengeance versus the moor utilizing
Roderigo, Cassio, Desdemona, and Emilia as pawns in the revenge versus Othello. Othello is thought about by some to be the greatest disaster of perpetuity, and by Aristotelian view Othello is indeed a tragic character containing all four characteristics of peripeteia, hamartia, anagnorisis, and catharsis. By killing himself Othello is the in Aristotle’s view a terrible hero. Works Cited Crowther, John, ed. “No Worry Othello.” SparkNotes. com. SparkNotes LLC. 2005. Web. 2 Mar. 2010. Else, Gerald F. “Aristotle on Catastrophe.” Oak. cats. ohiou. edu. 1967. Web. 3 Mar. 2010 “Othello and Iago.” 123helpme. com. Web. 4 Mar. 2010.