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Othello Noble - William Shakespeare's Tragedy

Autor:   •  March 8, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,370 Words (6 Pages)  •  2,273 Views

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Throughout William Shakespeare's tragedy, Othello, Shakespeare emphasizes the concept of nobility. He does these by portraying this attribute through is main character, a Moorish general in the Venetian army named Othello. Othello is essentially a noble character, flawed by his own insecurity and his nature of being naive and unsophisticated. Despite these flaws, Othello still is revered as the tragic hero. He is a character of high stature that is destroyed by his environment, and his fate. His destruction is precipitated essentially by his own actions, as well as by the actions of the characters surrounding him. The tragedy of Othello is not a fault of a single villain, but is rather a consequence of a wide range of feelings, judgments, misjudgments, and attempts for personal justification exhibited by a multitude of character. First, Othello is shown as a hero of war and a man of great pride and courage. As the play continues, his character begins to deteriorate and become less noble. Chronologically through the play, Othello's character changes from a flawless military leader to a murderer. He has certain traits which make him seem naive and unsophisticated compared to his surrounding society.

Othello is depicted as an outcast from the beginning of the play. Within the opening lines of the play, Othello appear distanced from much of the action that concerns and affects him. Roderigo, a Venetian man, and Iago, Othello's standard-bearer and the prominent antagonist of the play, for much of the first scene, ambiguously refer to Othello as "he" or "him." When they do begin to specify whom they are talking about, they use racial epithets, not names. As the two men stand beneath Brabantio's, a Venetian senator, window, they refer to Othello as "the Moor" (I.i.63), "the thick-lips" (I.i.72), "an old black ram" (I.i.97), and "a Barbary horse" (I.i.125). These comments stand apart Othello from the surrounding Venetian society and immediately alienate him. Due to this isolation, Othello easily can be perceived to be extremely insecure. Factors such as his age, his lifestyle as a soldier, and his self-consciousness about being a racial and cultural outsider, simply play on his insecurity of self and to his uncertainty and anxiousness of his place in society.

Even though Othello is a cultural and racial outsider in Venice, his skills as a soldier and leader are nevertheless valuable and necessary to the state. These skills alone allow him to an integral part of Venetian civic society. These instances heighten his nobility as a character. He is in great demand by the duke and senate due to his honorable qualities. This is evidenced by Cassio's comment that the Senate has requested Othello multiple times. Cassio tells Othello, "You have been hotly called for. When, being not at your lodging


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