Othello Essay - Tragic Heroes Can Be Defined in Many Ways. How Far Is Jealousy an Important Factor in Considering Othello as a Tragic Hero? You Should Explore the Dramatic Presentation of the Protagonist.

There are many ways a tragic hero can be defined. In Othello's case I find that the Aristotlean definition is they most fitting. The Aristotelian definition of tragedy consists of a character of noble stature and greatness which is readily evident throughout the play, as they embody nobility and virtue. Although, the character is not perfect while being pre-eminately great, this is so the audience is able to identify to them although they are elevated to a higher position in society. The tragic hero's downfall is a result of free choice, making it partially their own fault, while it is usually triggered by an error of judgment or a hamartia, which involves a hubris such as arrogant pride or over confidence. Despite all of this, the hero's punishment exceeds the crime as their misfortune is not wholly deserved. However, the fall is not pure loss, and there is usually a gain in self-knowledge or awareness.
In terms of an Aristotlean tragic hero, Othello is aptly fitted to the definition, as he is of noble stature and greatness, as his skill as a soldier and leader is an integral part of Venetian civic society especially he is in great demand by the Duke and Senate, which is evidenced by Cassio's comment that the Senate,
“sent about three several quests”
to look for Othello. (1.ii.44) The Venetian government trusts Othello enough to put him in full martial and political command of Cyprus. In his dying speech Othello reminds the Venetians of the service he has done their state,
“I have done the state some service, and they know't.” (5.2.35)
However, Othello   is not perfect in order for him to remain identifiable to the audience. While Othello possesses obvious eloquence,
“Rude I am in my speech/And little blessed with the soft phrase of peace” (1.3.82-83)
While Othello is never rude in his speech, he allows his eloquence to suffer as he is put under strain by Iago's plots, as he falls victim to the thoughts of adultery, cuckoldry and hypocrisy that Iago plants...