Evaluate how and why William Shakespeare creates sympathy for Othello in Othello. how the use of characterization,theme and conflict contribute to the significance of this topic?

Expert Answers info

johncraig1978 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2007

write5 answers

starTop subject is Literature

Tragedy, in the classical sense of the word, is defined by Aristotle as “a representation of an action… and by exciting pity or fear it gives a healthy relief to such emotions”. Every tragedy needs a tragic hero, and in Othello, we have just such a man, one who fulfills every requirement of the genre: “a man not pre-eminently virtuous and just, whose misfortune… is brought upon him not by vice… but by some error of judgement.”

Shakespeare’s Othello is a Moor, and he falls in love with the beautiful and virtuous (two qualities that often went hand in hand in Shakespeare’s writing) Desdemona, the daughter of a Venetian nobleman. On hearing of her supposed infidelity with the noble Cassio, Othello’s jealousy gets the better of him, and, fuelled by the poisonous Iago, Othello vows to take vengeance on his utterly innocent wife.

In his soliloquy in Act 5, Othello is cursing the stars for their intervention in his life. Although seemingly maddened by jealousy and rage, he vows...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 670 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

gbeatty eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2007

write2,654 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Science

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial