In Othello, why is Othello considered a "tragic hero"?

Othello is considered a tragic hero because he has a high position in his society, he succumbs to a fatal flaw, and he gains insight through the punishment for his actions. Othello succumbs to jealousy and kills his wife, Desdemona, later learning that his own low self-esteem had been manipulated by Iago.

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Othello fits all of the criteria of a tragic hero that Aristotle outlined in his work, "Poetics" According to Aristotle:

1. The tragic hero has a noble stature and a high position in his culture.

Othello is a general and commander of the Venician armed forces. Later he his governor of Cyprus.

2. The tragic hero, is great, but not perfect. The audience relates to him as a human being.

The lack of self esteem because he is a Moor is a problem for Othello.

3. The hero's downfall is the result of a "fatal flaw" in his character. It is the result of free will, not of an accident or mere fate.

His lack of self esteem allows him to be manipulated by Iago into...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 348 words.)

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