othello a tragic hero by ella ashleigh n.
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Othello- A Tragic Hero By ella & ashleigh. Othello Beginning of the play. Othello is a general in the Venetian defence forces, although he is a foreigner from Africa he has won this position by excellence in the field of war.

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othello beginning of the play
OthelloBeginning of the play
  • Othello is a general in the Venetian defence forces, although he is a foreigner from Africa he has won this position by excellence in the field of war.
  • He has courage, intelligence, the skill of command and the respect of his troops.
  • On the battlefield Othello is skilled and triumphant.
  • Othello is very articulate. In front of the Duke, he gives an inspiring speech when recounting the story of how he wooed Desdemona.

Othello feels at this moment in time his marriage is at the pinnacle of his life. This hero is at his greatest moment as he is triumphant in both war and love.

Act 2 scene 1 line (175-187)

“It gives me wonder great as my content to see you here before me. O my soul’s joy!... ‘Twere now to be most happy; for I fear my soul hath her content so absoloute..” - Othello

  • Othello’s view towards women is very different when compared to Iago’s view on women. Othello sees Desdemona as an equal as he calls her “..my fair warrior!”
  • When Iago starts questioning Desdemona’s loyalty, Othello is not easily moved.

Act 3 scene3 Line 220-225

“I do not think but Desdemona’s honest” -Othello

othello s downfall
Othello’s downfall
  • Othello is very easily manipulated by Iago. Iago expresses his love for Othello and his duty to serve him, thus leading Othello into believing that Iago is loyal and honest.
  • Although Othello is very experienced on the battle field, he is inexperienced at love. His inexperience undermines his confidence, therefore Iago finds it easy to lead Othello into thinking that Desdemona is committing adultery.
  • Othello’s insecurities are so close to the surface that a few words of hint and innuendo from Iago can completely alter his disposition.

Act 3 scene 3 line 205

“She did deceive her father, marrying you…”


One of Othello’s insecurities is his complexion. He is referred to as “The Moor”. It is when Iago mentions Othello’s complexion that he starts to feel like even more of an outsider and start to doubt himself and his worthiness. He even starts to question why he married. Act 3 scene 3 Line 240

  • With his very crafted words, Iago destroys the confident exterior of Othello to expose his fears, and tendency to violence. It is not long before Othello is convinced of Desdemona’s “infidelity”
  • Othello does not confront Desdemona about cheating on him, instead he takes a military approach to the situation and makes a rash decision on the spot to kill Desdemona.

Act 3 scene 3 Line 339-447

“ Now do I see ‘tis true. Look here, Iago- all my fond love thus do I

blow to heaven: ‘tis gone.” –Othello

  • “O beware, my lord, of jealousy! It is the green- eyed monster, which doth mock the meat it feeds on. That cuckold lives in bliss who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger…” - Iago

This is the seed of jealousy that Iago plants in Othello’s mind. Iago is

basically telling Othello to not get jealous as it will consume him and turn him

into a monster which in turn will to him destroying himself and others around

him. Iago does not directly say that Desdemona is cheating on Othello, Othello

is only led to believe it.

“Trifles light as air”

Jelousy is one of the main reasons leading to Othello’s downfall. This

is because when Othello becomes consumed with doubt and jealousy,

every meaningless action or word seems to justify his suspicions of

Desdemona’s “infidelity” An example of this is the handkerchief and also

hearing Iago and Cassio speak of Bianca.

othello end of the pla y
OthelloEnd of the Play
  • Closer to the end of the play we start to see the great qualities of Othellodeteriorate.
  • His speech

Othello starts to fill his speech with interrogatives. This once confident

hero is now filled with uncertainty therefore asks a lot of

questions. Act 3 scene 3 “What dost thou say?”.. “Who is’t you

mean?.. “Went he hence now?”

Othello’s well crafted speeches have now turned into short statements

along with great use of animal imagery (like Iago) and also dark

imagery. Act 3 scene 3 Line 444-500

  • His view towards women:

Othello starts to succumb that woman are beneath men. He hits

Desdemona in front of This is suggested as Othello does not actually ask

Desdemona if she had been cheating on him until it is too late. Even when she

denies cheating on him he still believes Iago word. (A man’s word over a woman.)

He also hits Desdemona in Act 4 scene 1 in front of Lodovico. Lodovico is

shocked as this is not the same Othello that he saw in front of the senate. “What! Strike

his wife!... I am sorry that I am deceived in him”- Lodovico


His career

In the first scene, when Othello is in front of the senate he assures

the senators that he won’t let his marriage get in the way of his career. This

changes as when he believes that Desdemona has cheated on him he declares,

“Farewell the plumed troops and the big wars that make ambition virtue…

Farewell! Othello’s occupation’s gone.”

  • What led to the downfall of Othello?
    • His free and open nature
    • His trust in Iago
    • Inexperience when it comes to love
    • Letting himself be easily manipulated
    • His insecurities such as his race, colour, background, being an outsider.
    • He let his military ways take control

There are many factors which led to the downfall of Othello. In the

last scene he admits to having been manipulated and deceived by

Iago. “Of one that not easily jealous, but being wrought, perplexed

in the extreme.” This final soliloquy reveals a bit of Othello’s

former greatness, his military glory and his loyalty to Venice. It

shows the intensity of his love for Desdemona and he realises that

by killing her he has ultimately destroyed the best in himself.