In Act 5 Scene 2 of Othello, how is it like a tragedy? Is there anything that doesn't fit in with the idea of a tragedy?Also in Act 1 Scene 3 of Othello, how does his position in a mostly white...

In Act 5 Scene 2 of Othello, how is it like a tragedy? Is there anything that doesn't fit in with the idea of a tragedy?

Also in Act 1 Scene 3 of Othello, how does his position in a mostly white society mean his fall from grace is tragic?

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Asked on by celinexx

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

There is tragic conditions featured in the closing scene.  The idea of Othello possessing a moment of doubt as Desedmona sleeps acquires tragic sensibilities.  These are enhanced when Othello understands the complete nature of the web that Iago has concocted.  There is a level of sadness, of tragedy, when Othello recognizes how his destiny has changed from the start of the play.  At the outset, he was an honorable and mighty military general, one of the few "outsiders," who had achieved a place amongst those who could be seen as "insiders."  Being of color in a society where representation was lacking, Othello's fall from grace is heightened by the fact that he assumes complete responsibility for not trusting Cassio and Desdemona.  It is tragic for him to have seen the shambles that resulted from a life with so much promise.  While it might not have been the direct intent, it is increased recognizing that he, being an outsider, suffered, confirming those whose entrenched power caused the crisis of representation as correct.

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coachingcorner | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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In Act Scene 2 of the play 'Othello' by William Shakespeare, Othello hurries home after a fight. (Roderigo and Iago had been hiding and waiting to ambush Cassio. In the ensuing fight both Cassio and Roderigo got hurt. Iago then murdered Roderigo after Othello seems to condone the idea-rushing off to be with his wife.) Othello enters the bed-chamber where Desdemona is asleep, and contemplates killing her before she has the chance to 'betray' any more men. She tries to explain and assert her innocence...but it is no good and her bridegroom kills her. It is a tragedy for Desdemona that Othello is so far gone in the madness awoken in him by an evil 'friend' that her husband does not even spare her the time to listen. We find it hard to identify with Othello as we might with a tragic hero because of this fact.

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