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The Tragedy of Othello Essay

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William Shakespeare masterfully crafted Othello, the Moor of Venice as an Aristotelian tragedy play. The main protagonist of the play, Othello, is the perfect example of a tragic hero. Shakespeare was influenced by Aristotle’s concept of a tragic hero and used Aristotle’s principles to create Othello. William Shakespeare attempted to create an Aristotelian tragedy play with a tragic hero and succeeded in Othello, the Moor of Venice by weaving in pity and fear into each line and action. The power of pity and fear creates the upmost tragic situation and follows in accordance of Aristotle’s definition of tragedy. Othello makes the ultimate act as a tragic hero by killing himself at the end of the play. “Othello, more than any play in the canon, has a fascinating and contentious performance and reception history,”
Aristotle constructs the definition of a tragedy and a tragic hero in the fourth century B.C. He defined tragedy with a well stated sentence which he said:

Tragedy is an imitation of an action of high importance, complete and of some amplitude; in language enhanced by distinct and varying beauties; acted not narrated; by means of pity and fear effecting its purgation of these emotions.

Aristotle sees tragedy of being made of pity and fear. When tragedies occur in people’s lives it appears fear and pity is always an accompanying trait. Aristotle finds these two emotions to be staples in creating the perfect tragedy play. A tragic hero is the direct spawn of creating a tragic play.
Aristotle’s tragic hero is made up of three requirements. The protagonist of the play must be a person of high estate. This allows the protagonist to fall from power or happiness to create a tragedy. The next requirement is the protagonist mus...


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Golden, Leon, “Othello, Hamlet, and Aristotelian Tragedy” Folger Shakespeare Library in association with George Washington University, http://www.jstor.org/stable/2869923.
Kennedy, X. J., and Dana Gioia. Literature: an introduction to fiction, poetry, drama, and writing. 7th compact ed. /Interactive ed. Boston, Mass.: Pearson, 2012.
Phillips, Adam. 2011. "Othello on Satisfaction." Raritan 31, no. 1: 50-69. America: History and Life with Full Text, EBSCOhost.
Reeves, Charles H., “The Aristotelian Concept of the Tragic Hero,” The American Journal of Philology , Vol. 73, No. 2 (1952), The Johns Hopkins University Press, http://www.jstor.org/stable/291812.
Seeff, Adele. "Othello at the Market Theatre." Shakespeare Bulletin 27.3, 2009, Academic OneFile.
Shakespeare, William, Othello, the Moor of Venice, “First Folio,” Edward Blount and William and Isaac Jaggard, 1621.


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