How is Othello an effective tragedy?

Essay by kalorfulHigh School, 11th gradeA, November 2006

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By definition, a tragedy is a story of exceptional calamity leading to the death of a man in high estate. Othello is a classic Shakespearean tragedy, because it fits with the convention that the hero's downfall was because of a fatal flaw in his character, and that the flaw was exposed by external circumstances. The emotional impact of the plot on the audience is created through use of dramatic techniques, and the creative use of such techniques makes Othello an effective tragedy.

At the beginning of the play, fitting in with the Shakespearean ideals, Othello is presented as a courageous war hero, The audience witness him assert with pride in Act One: 'I fetch my life and being / From men of royal siege, and my demerits / May speak unbonneted to as proud a fortune / As this that I have reached'. These lines indicate that Othello's courageous military acts give him a social status comparable to royalty.

It is also evidenced that others view Othello as a man of high esteem when a senator remarks in reference to Othello, "Here comes Brabantio and the valiant Moor"

It is also in the beginning of the play that Iago, the villain character is introduced. Iago shows in his first soliloquy that he understands Othello's weakness perfectly, "The Moor is of an open and free nature/ That thinks men honest but seem to be so." Crude, blunt language is used in the same soliloquy "As tenderly led by the nose/As asses are," illustrating the ease which Iago believes he will be able to manipulate Othello. Iago immediately demonstrates to the responder that he has uncovered Othello's fatal flaw, foreshadowing the inevitable catastrophe at th e end of the play. This is accomplished also by the...