Was "Othello" a tragedy, and why.

Essay by call_me_stan21High School, 12th gradeA, March 2003

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Miss Kylie Gray

C/- Culture Magazine

200 Shakespeare Street


Brisbane. Qld 4000

Hello Kylie

Thank you for your question regarding "How does Othello fulfill the requirements to be described as a classic tragedy?" The definition of what makes a Shakespearean tragedy is a very deep subject to get into, especially just in a short letter. There has been entire reports based on the definitions of what makes a Shakespearean tragedy. In this letter I will merely scratch the surface, but hopefully give you the answer you are looking for. To answer your question, I will go through the basic requirements of a Shakespearean tragedy step by step and show you how they relate to Othello.

The first of the requirements and the most important is that there must be a hero. Normally a tragedy will have one hero, however there are exceptions in the case of love tragedies such as Romeo and Juliet where the rule is bent a little and there may be a second hero called a "Heroine". In the play Othello, he is the single star; it is a tragic story that is concerned primarily with him.

The number two rule is, the story must lead up to the death of the hero, no real Shakespearean tragedies end with the hero still alive-without the death of the hero were is the tragedy. Also the hero can not just die of natural causes or by accident, in fact; essentially a tragedy is a tale of suffering and disaster leading to the death of the hero. For example a slow death by disease or poverty, how sad and dreadful is might be, would not be a tragedy in the Shakespearean sense. The hero will usually die unexpectedly from a act that is usually bring honor. All...