Oedipus And Othello Research Paper

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In spite of Oedipus and Othello taking place 2,000 years apart, the two heroes both face the casualties of their tragic downfalls. Oedipus by Sophocles is the story of a man destined to fail by the Gods, and does so by fate. Othello written by William Shakespeare causes his own downfall due to the blinding influence of others. Both are victims of pride that ultimately causes their downfall, but Othello is the character who better fits Aristotle’s definition. Both Othello and Oedipus can be compared and contrasted on their status, their overall “goodness,” the influence of others and the advice taken by it, and by their ultimate downfall as the protagonist in their story. Othello and Oedipus come from two very different backgrounds. Othello…show more content…
He does not heed the warnings and the truths of the prophet, Tiresias (364-366). Nor does he pay respects to the Gods. Oedipus believes that he is in control of his own destiny and that the Gods have no input on what his life turns out to be. He claims to have stopped the Sphinx with no help from others (449-453). Othello on the other hand, is a “good guy.” His intentions in the beginning of the book are wholesome and innocent. Due to being naïve and trusting, he turns into the bad guy that causes his downfall. In the beginning of the book, Othello is both a brave and loving man. Othello pays attention to Desdemona and treats her as an equal. From Desdemona’s point of view, she sees that Othello as a good man, regardless of his appearance (1.3.186-190). This shows that on the inside Othello is a rather good…show more content…
As tragic heroes, they both start out in a safe position, Othello is married and a well-respected general and Oedipus is the King of Thebes. Their lives begin to unravel, and because of their blindness, neither of them sees what the truth really is. Deception and pride lead to their downfall as they fail to see the truth that lies in front of them. Othello, however, better fits the Aristotelian definition of a tragic hero because he is a rather good person with, unfortunately, poor judgment of those he can trust. He starts out newly married and content with life. Othello again proves that he is the right choice as general by defeating the Turkish army. His life is remarkable until Iago, raging with jealousy, gets into his ear. And by Othello’s misjudgment of the type of person Iago really is, allows Iago’s words of doubt to slip into his mind. As the book progresses, Othello loses sight of the reality of the situation and the hand that Iago is playing. Because of him being a relatively good and trusting person, he is unable to see that plans Iago has in store. In the end, after it is too late, Othello realizes he greatly misjudged what he was told. Othello suffers death by his own hand because of the remorse he feels for killing his innocent wife. The audience pities Othello because throughout the duration of the play, the audience, a case of dramatic irony,

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