Othello Shakespearean Tragedy

Definition of a Shakespearean Tragedy A story of exception calamity, leading to the death of a man of high estate. Usually, there is only one tragic hero. Only the Love Tragedies (Ex: Romeo and Juliet; Antony and Cleopatra) are exceptions to this pattern. In these plays, the heroine is as much at the center of action as the hero. The rest of the tragedies, including Othello, have single stars, so the tragic story is concerned primarily with one person. The story depicts the troubled part of the hero’s life which precedes and leads up to his death. It is, essentially, a tale of suffering and calamity, conducting the hero to death.The story includes a Tragic Dilemma when those with good intentions who deceive themselves into believing that noble ideals justify any means used no matter how violent.
Characteristics of a Shakespearean Tragedy The tragic story leads up to, and includes, the death of the heroThe suffering and calamity are exceptional They are, as a rule, unexpectedThey are, as a rule, contrasted with previous happiness and/or glory Includes a catastrophe of monumental proportionsThe calamities of the tragedy do not simply happen, nor are they sent– The calamities of tragedy proceed mainly from actionsShakespeare’s tragic heroes are responsible for the catastrophe of their fallsInvoke pity or fear within the audience
Definition of a Tragic Hero A tragic hero has the potential for greatness but is doomed to fail. He is trapped in a situation where he cannot win. He possesses a tragic flaw, and this causes his fall from greatness. Even though he is a fallen hero, he still wins a moral victory, and his spirit lives on.
Tragic Heroes are…. Born into nobility; men of rankAre exceptional human beings – NOT ordinaryResponsible for their own fateEndowed with a tragic flawDoomed to make a serious error in judgment
Eventually all Tragic Heroes are…. Fall from great heights or high esteemRealize they have made an irreversible mistakeFace and accept death with honorMeet a tragic death (usually suicide)
Drama A story written to be performed by actors; script is made up of dialogue and stage directions.
Exposition Introduction that sets the tone; introduces the characters, setting, and main conflict
Rising Action Complication of the conflict building to the climax
Climax Moment when the fortunes of the main characters peak
Falling Action Shows forces acting against the main characters
Resolution/ Catastrophe Where the deaths of the main characters occur and loose ends are tied up
Soliloquy A speech in which a character speaks thoughts aloud, alone on stage
Monologue A long, uninterrupted speech given by one character in the presence of others
Aside A whisper made by one character that only the audience or another character is supposed to hear
Dramatic Foil A character whose qualities contrast with another character to highlight the difference in their personalities
Comic Relief The inclusion of humorous scenes in a serious drama to relieve emotional intensity
Simile A comparison between two things using “like” or “as”
Metaphor A direct comparison between two things
Dramatic Irony When words or actions of the character(s0 of a work of literature have a different meaning for the reader than they do for the other characters. This is the result of the reading having knowledge or information that the other characters do not have.
Situational Irony The contrast between what is expected to happen and what actually happens
Verbal Irony Is the use of language to express opposite of its literal meaning
Paradox A contradictory statement that appears to be true
Personification Giving human characteristics to inanimate objects
Pun A play on words based on different meanings of words that sound alike
Foreshadowing When an author gives hints of clues of what is to come
Allusion A reference to a well- known piece of art, literature, music, mythology etc. (something the author expects the reader to recognize.
Interesting Facts About Othello Venice and its dependent territories were famed throughout Europe as a “free state,” where men could profess what beliefs they wished in safety from persecution. For Shakespeare’s contemporaries, Venice epitomized the dangers of Italy. It was thought to be exotic, corrupt, and dangerous, as well as beautiful and cultured.By Shakespeare’s day, the Italian Renaissance had been flourishing for two centuries. Italy’s independent city- states not only housed treasures or art, but also ruling families whose rise to power was strewn with tales of violence, intrigue, and murder. Othello is a Moor, born of royal blood, who has converted to Christianity and entered the services of the free city of Venice. The Moors were the medieval Muslim inhabitants of Morocco, western Algeria, Western Sahara, Mauritania, the Iberian Peninsula, Septimania, Sicily and Malta.Iago represents a Machiavellian Morality. It comes from Renaissance philosopher, Niccolo Machiavelli, whose writings sometimes advocated amoral methods of statesmanship. The Machiavel is a character who practices evil for its own sake as for any apparent motive. “The end justifies the means.”