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What is Othello's tragic flaw that causes his downfall?
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High School Teacher
Othello's suffering results mostly from his poor judgment. He trusts the wrong people and mistrusts those who are most loyal to him (Desdemona and Cassio). In Act 3, he sets aside his sensible, military side and falls prey to Iago's manipulation.
It must be noted in Othello's case, though, that while he might share Brutus's tragic flaw (from Julius Caesar), Othello deserves more sympathy from the audience. In a sense, he is a victim of his time period. While Brutus exercised poor judgment throughout Julius Caesar, he was used to commanding respect because of his family and character and did not have to fight against prejudice. In contrast, Othello's poor judgment largely results from his self-doubt regarding his true acceptance into European society. He has been conditioned to think that he is not good enough for Desdemona or the inner sanction of white society.
While some argue that Othello's tragic flaw is jealousy, he really does not suffer from that until Iago plants seeds of doubt in his heart regarding Desdemona. Normally, Shakespeare's tragic characters establish a pattern connected to their tragic flaws, and there really is no pattern to justify jealousy as a flaw with which Othello has constantly struggled.
Posted by scarletpimpernel on October 22, 2009 at 4:37 AM (Answer #1)
That pretty false
Everyone trusts Iago, they call him "honest iago"
Othello went to war with Iago, he probably had to trust him with his life many times.
Posted by meredied on December 17, 2011 at 2:44 PM (Answer #2)
Posted by arjun on February 21, 2013 at 6:20 AM (Answer #5)
othellos tragic flaw, like iagos, is his jealousy and unwillingness to sort stuf out- he doesnt even ask desde whats up
Posted by iarora on October 5, 2013 at 1:46 PM (Answer #6)
Othello's tragic flaw is his gullible and naive nature. He is senseless and blindly believes Iago who manipulates him for his own benefit.
He is also a victim of circumstances and a poor decision-maker.
Posted by gutsygibbon on November 5, 2009 at 10:00 AM (Answer #3)
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