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Othello as a Tragic Character Essay

  • Submitted by: anonymous
  • on October 5, 2012
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,251 words

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Below is an essay on "Othello as a Tragic Character" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

This, as criticism, seems somewhat better, for it grants our inexorable conviction that Shakespeare is after all a moral dramatist, and tries to square himself with our moral principles. But, unfortunately, this kind of criticism makes a demand of us that no generation of theatre-goers or readers has ever been able to meet. To picture Othello and Desdemona as in the end not failing but actually triumphing, as Professor Alden finds himself obliged to maintain, is to think of them as in the same class as the suffering Job, and as Romeo and Juliet. He says, "If the individual experience often seems to be at odds with everything but itself; if Job suffer for no reason such as can be stated in general terms; if Juliet and Romeo are the victims of the animosities of their parents ... ; if Desdemona dies because her pitiful life has found a number of malignantly potent trifles looming so big for the moment as to shut from view any source of active justice . . ."

This, however, it is impossible to admit. The writer of "Job" explicitly declares that Job was a righteous man, and that his misfortunes were entirely due to the malignity of the evil one. Neither were his misfortunes of the nature of moral catastrophes, as were those of Othello and Desdemona. In Shakespeare, as in the Bible, the misfortunes that are objective in their source are never moral in character. Romeo and Juliet were undoubtedly "the victims of the animosities of their parents," or in other words were the victims of social conditions for which they were personally in no way responsible. About their misfortunes, however, there is not the slightest suggestion of retribution, and as Carlyle long ago observed, their apparent defeat is really a moral victory. But it is very different with Othello and Desdemona, for there is an element of retribution in their misfortunes. The play explicitly depicts them as the authors of all the elements of their social conditions that give rise to their conflicts and...

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Othello as a Tragic Character. Anti Essays. Retrieved December 14, 2018, from the World Wide Web: http://parimatch-stavka7.com/free-essays/Othello-As-A-Tragic-Character-319778.html


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