The Tragic Flaw

It seems logical to talk about Othello as being flawed. What aspect of his character is flawed though?

  1. Self-deprecating
  2. Rash
  3. Proud
  4. Gullible
  5. Quick to judge
  6. insecure/inferiority complex
  7. Thinks too much or NOT ENOUGH
  8. Others?

Task 1

Which is Othello’s flaw? Choose the most likely and find evidence of this in the text.

The original conception of the tragic flaw is commonly attributed to Aristotle. Harmatia term from Greek tragedy that literally means “missing the mark.” “Originally applied to an archer who misses the target, a hamartia came to signify a tragic flaw, especially a misperception, a lack of some important insight, or some blindness that ironically results from one’s own strengths and abilities” (Wheeler, 2010).

Aristotle’s original meaning implied a mistake in action rather than a flawed character trait although the mistake can often be attributed to a specific trait. Therefore, what was Othello’s mistake in action?

In describing the flaw, Aristotle also refers to peripeteia, “the sudden reversal of fortune in a story, play, or any narrative in which there is an observable change in direction. In tragedy, this is often a change from stability and happiness toward the destruction or downfall of the protagonist” (Wheeler, 2010).

Can we identify a reversal or turning point in Othello?

Othello’s Redemption.

Does Othello really fall from grace?

Image: ‘cracked window 1

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