To what extent may Othello be considered a tragic hero?
To many people Othello is considered to be a tragic hero yet to others he isn’t thought of in this way at all. Personally, I don’t think that Othello should be viewed as a tragic hero regardless of the fact that he has some of the qualities that a tragic hero should possess. Othello does fit in with most of Aristotle’s theory of tragedy, however, some of Othello’s qualities make it almost impossible for him to be a tragic hero. Although, he suffers like a protagonist should in a Shakespearian tragedy, he cannot be considered as the ‘typical’ tragic hero because of certain characteristics that he embodies such as the fact that he’s an outsider and the colour of his skin.
Subsequently, due to the protagonist being black, racism is quite a big issue in this play. Othello is hardly ever referred to as ‘the general’ or by his actual name, instead many characters use racist comments and remarks whilst talking about him. Throughout the play Othello is often called ‘the moor’ which indicates the extent of the prejudice that Othello endures. Also, Othello is called ‘thick lips’, and is referred to as an ‘old black ram’ by Iago, one of his ‘friends’. Some of the characters, such as Iago, in this play are portrayed as two faced and the name calling reflects this as most of the characters who call Othello these names act very differently whilst they are around him. Substantially, Othello marries a beautiful white woman, Desdemona, the daughter of a very noble Venetian, which is very much frowned upon by a vast majority of Venice. Their marriage is considered to be ‘unnatural’ and their love making is labelled as ‘making the beast with two backs’. The fact that Othello is referred to as a ‘beast’ makes him seem unhuman and like a strong powerful animal. Othello’s servant, Iago, uses very vivid imagery by saying that the couples sex life is like ‘an old black ram... tupping a white ewe’. The colour symbolism...