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In William Shakespeare's Othello, how do we see two of Aristotle's elements of Greek...

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jpg0923 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 29, 2012 at 10:13 PM via web

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In William Shakespeare's Othello, how do we see two of Aristotle's elements of Greek Tragedy?

Act of Shame/Horror - Causes suffering

Suffering - Must be conscious, tragic if it gives knowledge/insight

 

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 29, 2012 at 11:11 PM (Answer #1)

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William Shakespeare's Othello in some ways presents Othello as very similar to the tragic heroes of the Greek tragedies analysed by Aristotle.

The hamartia, or spear throw, the irrevocable act of shame or horror that leads to suffering can be identified with the murder of Desdemona, but I think it is better to see the willingness to listen to Iago and become jealous that we should identify as setting the suffering in motion. For Othello starts to suffer because of his breach with Desdemona, and the murder is the culmination of that act. Once jealousy culminates in murder, Othello recoils in horror for his act, gains knowledge and insight over both the plot and his own nature, and commits suicide.

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