+440161 818 2657 [email protected]

welcome to Our Sample Database

A Comparative Discussion Between Two Tragic Heroes: Othello and Willy Loman


Shakespeare’s Othello is a unique figure among Shakespeare’s heroes. Like all other heroes of Shakespeare, Othello, towards the end of the play, faces a tragic downfall. Yet, the question arises how far Othello is responsible for his own downfall, or whether he is responsible for his downfall at all. Much ink has been used and misused in proving and disproving that Othello is black in color. His blackness is much responsible to bring about the tragedy in the life of both Othello and Desdemona. If the nature of the tragedy in Othello is considered, the causes and background of Othello’s fall, Othello himself and how far the surroundings are responsible for his tragedy. The point of racial alienation, i.e. Othello’s blackness, comes before the audience with all their plausibility and dramatic significance. On the other hand, Death of a Salesman is a new kind of play in which Miller showed originality in different issues. However, he was mostly criticized for his depiction of a tragic hero in Aristotelian terms, a great man of flawed goodness. Prior to the nineteenth century, “greatness” in the shorthand of that stage, was shown as a social and political standing. However, in the last 150 years, the emphasis has shifted to moral and human qualities without much regard to the position. Willy Loman, a salesman, sacrifices himself upon the alteration of the American dream. Like Twain’s boy, Willy has met with the enormous public success. He is capable of moving the middle brow audience as well as intellectual sophisticate. We have come to know the definition of the tragedy from the “Outline of Aristotle's Theory of Tragedy in the Poetics”:

Tragedy, then, is an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude; in language embellished with each kind of artistic ornament, the several kinds being found in separate parts of the play; in the form of action, not of narrative; with incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish its katharsis of such emotions… Every Tragedy, therefore, must have six parts, which parts determine its quality—namely, Plot, Characters, Diction, Thought, Spectacle, Melody. (McManus 1999)

It is difficult to understand why a black man should be a hero of the great tragedy. Even Coleridge is unwilling to admit that the big tragedy might be based on the life of a black man. Coleridge simply forgot the truth that love is blind. Now it is significant that Desdemona, who chooses Othello in preference of her own people, declares that she saw Othello’s visage in her mind. She loved the greatness, goodness and nobility of Othello’s soul and mind and not his body. He was really white in soul, though black in body and complexion. This is further proved in the fact that when the audience gets familiar with the character of Iago, an opposite picture of a man, who is white without and black within. However, Shakespeare wants his audience to use both sight and insight to Othello as a black Moor and to appreciate his inner life as a splendid soldier and servant of the Venetian state.

Need a complete copy of the "A Comparative Discussion Between Two Tragic Heroes: Othello and Willy Loman" Essay ? Get your copy below:

Pin It
FileDescriptionFile size
Download this file (A Comparative Discussion Between Two Tragic Heroes.pdf)A Comparative Discussion Between Two Tragic HeroesEssay [ 2553 words]99 kB

Logo star-snippets.com

Notice: Undefined index: assignmentclub.co.uk in /var/www/web14/htdocs/application/modules/site/controllers/StarController.php on line 437

Notice: Undefined index: assignmentclub.co.uk in /var/www/web14/htdocs/application/modules/site/controllers/StarController.php on line 439