All three are vividly portrayed by Shakespeare in this remarkable masterpiece.
Stories and poems bring us together and lead us to embrace our common humanity. I think that this is a good and useful point, but I wonder if there are some things about different cultures that literature can’t communicate. In some cultures, there are words for things that there aren’t in our language (Adler 29). Some cultures have many different words for the same sort of thing with many different aspects. It seems to be that literature can show us very broad universal themes, but it might have trouble showing what we have in common in a nitty-gritty kind of way. One of the solutions to this is different types of characters. Throughout all cultures, characters exist. In Othello, the characters exist in another time, place, and culture, and yet they are instantly recognizable to us. We know these people and we see how their weaknesses will result inevitably in their tragic downfalls. We see ourselves in these characters and that is truly what brings each of them to life.
It is clear that Othello is madly in love with Desdemona and that he lives his life by a code of honor. It is equally clear that Iago does not live by a code or if he does his code is manipulate whenever possible. These two characters are foils for one another and the story’s drama plays out between them. This is important to indicate in the course of any such character analysis. First and foremost, Othello is a tragic hero. A tragic hero is an individual who makes a mistake that leads to his or her destruction. Often a tragic hero can be seen to be a plaything of fate, like Oedipus in Sophocles’ plays, or as someone who embraces a destructive fate like Hamlet. However, just being a tragic figure is not enough to be meet the qualification of tragic hero. The character must be a hero as well as being tragic.