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Reaserch on Othello the Moor of Venice as a tragedy

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istotle’s concept of tragedy is based on a sum total of a few essential fundamentals that are a complex plot with a suitable beginning middle and the end, organic unity, appropriate length, the unities of time and place, apt relationship between the character and plot, goodness, consistency of characterization, hamartia, peripity, anagnorisis or discovery, feelings of pity and fear and catharsis.1 Based on the parameters as established by Aristotle for a worthy tragedy, William Shakespeare’s Othello, the Moor of Venice is an ideal Aristotelian tragedy. Othello is a specific tragedy of passion and to label it as an Aristotelian tragedy is certainly appropriate. Of all Shakespeare’s tragedies, Othello is the most painfully exciting and the most terrible. As one goes through it, one experiences the extremes of the feelings of pity, fear, sympathy, disgust, sickening hope and dreadful expectation.
Othello, the Moor of Venice, could and should essentially be classified as a typical Aristotelian tragedy and Othello is the most worthy tragic hero of Shakespeare who satisfies almost all the credentials of a tragic hero as evinced by Aristotle. As one goes through the play Othello, one experiences the extremes of the feelings of pity, fear, sympathy, disgust, sickening hope and a dreadful expectation.2 Evil is displaced before the reader in such a way that one simply watches its progress in an awed and fascinated manner. A lot of factors contribute to the exciting and painful impact of this play as the conflict in Othello’s mind, the ensuing sexual jealousy, Desdemona’s humiliation and murder, the accompanying intrigue and so much.3 Besides, the role played by ‘accident’ in Othello produces not only a strong sense of the working of fate, but makes the play more terrible. In Othello, so many things happen by chance to aid Iago’s plot that one feels that his victims are also the victims of fate. Then there is the little comic relief in the guise of Iago’s