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English Literature Assignment

‘The role of fate rather than Iago’s villainy leads to the inevitable tragic outcome.’

It is seen that one of the major and significant causes of the tragedy is Iago. The primary and the fundamental reason which led the tragic downfall of Othello is Iago's ability to lie and manipulate people's mind. Iago enjoyed destroying the joy of others whenever he found as he was inherently evil and vicious. However, there were rational reasons for which he took revenge and apart from this, he had inborn and destructive villainy. It was seen that he was cold blooded creature by his birth. In addition to his sexual jealousy, he had a mixture of misogyny and racism. He couldn’t tolerate the happiness and the people who have status. Iago was a character in the play who can play different roles at the same time. He pretended to be sympathetic and friendly to others. Thus, he was worldly wise. He was so wonderfully disguised his real self that even his wife was not able to realize his evil plans. He pretended to show brotherly love for Othello. He had an eye which searched for the weaknesses of the victim and then exploited them. Shakespeare had built a dramatist, Iago, who is very well in evil doing and is as skilful as all kinds of human beings presented in the play. Shakespeare tried to demonstrate Iago's continuous villainy.

The play highlights the tragic consequences of sexual jealousy and it is said that the focus is basically domestic. We should not ignore the other dimension of Othello's tragedy which is political or worldly. The noble hero is eventually infected by Iago's prejudices. On different occasions, to get between Othello and Desdemona, Iago has been using his wife. However, Iago's plots are finally revealed mostly by her wife, Emilia. But Iago was infuriated with her wife, Emilia, because she deceived him. Emilia got to know about the extent of Iago's evilness when it was too late. Iago made a move to escape, but in vain. He is captured again and brought back to the prison. He refuses to answer when he is asked the reason of plotting against Othello. Othello tried to kill Iago as he got to know about his plans. Even people were aware of the Iago's villainy and manipulations over Othello.

However, the audience would not feel that being black was the reason of Othello becoming jealous and murderous. Being perplexed in the extreme by Iago, his actions and emotions turned to negative. The blackness of Othello is portrayed as a part of his nobility by Shakespeare just as Iago’s discrimination is a part of his evil. It is observed that Elizabethan dramatists generally used Italianate settings for their dramas on revenge, love affairs and others. The reason behind this could be that the foreign courts were stereotyped as sexual perversion and fill of villainy.

Othello’s style of speech is different as his statements are confusing. His statements are distinguished by a reiteration of his main thoughts which are positioned on the betrayal of Desdemona. The state of mind of Othello is exemplified by the language that he makes use of. For example, he uses short sentences as well as explanatory sentences. This all portrays that he is very infuriated. He used pun on the word lie. The meaning of life can mean both, that is, having sex with someone or not telling the truth. At that stage, both meanings were same for Othello. There is a connection between confessing and hanging. This tells us that Othello is no longer thinking in a rational manner. It is possible to hang a person after he has made a confession. It was the words which have confused Othello and as a audience, we are aware of it. The play, Othello is about opposites and opposition. There are several contradictions that are in the play which are embodied in the tragic hero. The characters in the play hold particular and opposing arguments of the Moor. We need to consider the two roles of hero which are contradictory. Othello is a military man as well as lover husband. The personal and political spouting occupied by Othello is also contradictory. He is indeed a black man in a white world. He wanted to marry to become an equal member of and participant in the society.

There is a role of fate in the play. The hero in the play has such a characteristic which made him great as well become the flaw which led to his downfall. To emphasise on the extent of the tragic fall, the hero was of high status, royalty or fame. A less socially impressive protagonist is present in the domestic tragedy that were popular during the Renaissance. There were arguments on the role of Othello and was believe that he himself can fit into either category. Hamartia is the one in which the tragic fate of the hero is sealed due to an error of judgement. According to my opinion, fate also intervenes. The Machiavellian nature and Iago's villainy was revealed to all. Even Iago even confessed to all about his actions. He plotted revenge against Cassio and Othello for his own personal purpose. The events including the small ones that shows the fall of Othello is contrived by the dramatists. To have an impact on the downfall, the Shakespeare tragic hero is beset by both inner and outer forces. In Shakespearean tragedy, it is said that ‘character is fate.’ Iago as an antagonist, manipulates the flaws of Othello. He abused the trust and loyalty of Othello and poisoned his mind with fear. It was Iago who encouraged Othello's brutality.

A catharsis is experienced in the conclusion of Greek tragedies. The end of the play involved pity and terror. The pity was due to the dreadful fall of the hero, and the terror was that it could be happened to anyone. However, an evil action had reached its dramatic end. The tragic death of the hero emphasises that there is powerful element of fate which is determining the outcome of Greek tragedies. Shakespeare knew no Greek and his play prompts a sense of momentousness as they deal with the fate of the figures like kings and queens and their deaths which had repercussions on the state. Although, tragedy meets out it’s own order, but still there is a continued discomfort, perhaps due to the ‘poetic justice’ order. For Aristotle, the tragic hero could be divided into purely good or consummately evil. It is believed that the inter working of both is more interesting.

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