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In Shakespeare’s time audiences were interested in powerful men and playwrights assumed that in tragedies the heroes would be kings, generals, etc. men whose lives influence others.DEFINITION be basically GOOD weakness or fatal flaw HAMARTIA He should be basically GOOD but have some weakness or fatal flaw or make a fatal mistake (HAMARTIA) which circumstances will emphasise. DOWNFALL This will lead to his DOWNFALL and usually death. FATE FATE may play a part in his downfall. SYMPATHY with him Throughout the play we should feel some SYMPATHY with him. This should mean that we could see ourselves doing the same things, making the same mistakes given the same circumstances. PITY because he should represent all men We should feel PITY because he should represent all men and we should be able to say “There but for the grace of God go I.” Othello is clearly an example of a tragic hero.
Catharsis Emotional cleansing/a kind of ‘healing Emotional cleansing/a kind of ‘healing’ for the audience –they will experience certain emotions in response to the suffering of the characters in the drama. What are these emotions at the end of Othello? Relief? Sadness? Did they feel frustration especially after Act 3 when they as an audience can SEE what is happening to him?
theme(s) supported by reference to appropriate dramatic techniques … Answers to questions on drama should address relevantly the central concern(s) / theme(s) of the text and be supported by reference to appropriate dramatic techniques such as: conflict, characterisation, key scene(s), dialogue, climax, exposition, denouement, structure, plot, setting, aspects of staging (such as lighting, stage set, stage directions…), soliloquy, monologue…
The structure of the question If you look at any Question Paper, you will see that all the questions are structured in a very similar way. There are two sentences: second sentencekey instruction for what you have to doyour essay will be judged on how successfully you handle this part The second sentence is the one that provides the key instruction for what you have to do, and your essay will be judged on how successfully you handle this part. You must not think that anything you write will automatically be relevant just because the text fits the definition in the first sentence. You must do exactly what is asked for in the question. Notice that the question may contain more than one instruction and that you must address the whole question. Relevancewrite a relevant essay it’s much better to write an essay of modest length which is clearly relevant than a long essay which says everything you know and ignores the question Relevance Above all else, strive to write a relevant essay. This means you are unlikely to be able to write everything you might want to say, but it’s much better to write an essay of modest length which is clearly relevant than a long essay which says everything you know and ignores the question. The former is likely to pass; the latter will definitely fail.
A possible question – break it down In Shakespearean tragedy such as Othello, the tragic hero often falls due to his fatal flaw or hamartia. It could be said that Othello’s hamartia is his unwillingness to accept advice from anyone but Iago. Discuss how much truth you think there is in this and if Othello causes his own downfall because of this blindness to taking or asking for advice from anyone else.
A possible question – break it down Choose a play which has a character who has a fatal flaw. Describe the nature of the flaw and how it contributes to your understanding of the play as a whole.
Remembe r critical terms for drama Include critical terms for drama – protagonist/hero, heroic, villain/ antagonist, fatal flaw, love/domestic tragedy, exposition, climax, turning point, resolution, Act, Scene… Protagonist Protagonist –The character who initiates the action; carries the story forward; the main character. (Othello) Antagonist Antagonist- A character who opposes the values of the protagonist. One who causes problems for the main character (Iago) Dramatic Irony Dramatic Irony-when the audience knows more than the main character. This means that the main character does not realise the full significance of what he is saying. E.g. “Honest Iago” or “Good Iago” – Othello does not realise the irony in these words until the end of the play (unlike the audience)
insecurities Othello’s insecurities blackoldnot cultured He is black/ He is old and is not cultured “Haply for I am black and have not these soft parts of conversation that chamberers have; or for I am declined into the vale of years.” thinks these are the reasons He shows theses insecurities when Iago convinces him that Desdemona is having an affair with Cassio. He thinks these are the reasons why she is having an affair. background Othello’s background Soldier – he makes decisions quickly Africa – A very different culture He is a Soldier – he makes decisions quickly because of this/ He’s from Africa – A very different culture/ He has Royal blood Convincing Othello about the affair Reminds O that Desdemona deceived Brabantio Iago shows reluctance when speaking to Othello and only describes what he sees. Reminds O that Desdemona deceived Brabantio. “She did deceive her father, marrying you, and when she seemed to shake and fear your looks she loved them most.” He leaves Othello for a moment after speaking but soon returns so he doesn’t have much time to think. Iago tells Othello that he is telling him all this because he is a good friend. (Dramatic Irony) “I humbly do beseech you of your pardon for too much loving you.” Iago uses short sentences to show his reluctance but soon increases the length of his speeches. This makes Othello wonder what might be happening with Iago actually telling him.
he must not be jealous now he will be He mentions to Othello how he must not be jealous about the situation. This was when Othello wasn’t jealous and now he will be. “Oh, beware, my Lord, of jealousy! It is the green eyed monster, which doth mock the meat it feeds on.”
Obsession “dominate or preoccupy the thoughts, feelings, or de sires of (a person); beset, trouble, or haunt persistently or abnormally: Suspicion obsessed him.” “to think about something unceasingly or persistently ; dwell obsessively upon something.”
She has deceived her Father, and may thee. Brabantio: She has deceived her Father, and may thee. Brabantio’s warning to Othello. An ominous hint of what Othello will later believe. : The Moor, …..Is of a constant, loving, noble nature, Iago: The Moor, …..Is of a constant, loving, noble nature, Even Iago recognizes Othello’s nobility. A horned man’s a monster and a beast. Othello: A horned man’s a monster and a beast. Othello’s self-loathing. He thinks he is a ‘horned’ man i.e. a cuckold. I will chop her into messes. Cuckold me! Othello: I will chop her into messes. Cuckold me! Othello will punish Desdemona. Note his wounded pride. Then you must speak of one that loved not wisely, but too well; Othello: Then you must speak of one that loved not wisely, but too well; Othello’s own “obituary”.
Key Scene Act 3, Scene 3 depicts one of the most dramatic transformations of a man in all of Shakespeare. Often called the "Temptation Scene," it is both the literary and ideological centre of the play Act 3, Scene 3 depicts one of the most dramatic transformations of a man in all of Shakespeare. Often called the "Temptation Scene," it is both the literary and ideological centre of the play. In the space of one scene, Othello goes from a calm, decisive military leader to a disbelieving and crazed husband thirsting for his wife's violent death. power shift occurs clear evidence of his fatal flaw (Hamartia) A power shift occurs in the scene, as Othello is gradually transformed from commanding leader who can demand information to a weak, broken and almost helpless man who must wait for and be led by Iago's interpretation of events. This is clear evidence of his fatal flaw (Hamartia) : his willingness to believe Iago because of his own unfounded jealousy. military prowess is not matched by a similar depth of emotional security far more skillful in the art of war than in the world of relationships It becomes apparent throughout the scene that Othello's military prowess is not matched by a similar depth of emotional security or self- knowledge. Othello is far more skillful in the art of war than in the world of relationships and interpretation.
Othello is so angry when he thinks Desdemona has been unfaithful because he is so cannot control his jealousy as he has never experienced it before very hurtpride as a man ruining his reputation persuades himself that he doing it for noble reasons high regard for reputation is what leads to his downfall much in love with her. He cannot control his jealousy as he has never experienced it before. This leads to him wanting to kill her because in his mind she has been unfaithful and abused his love and trust. He is very hurt by the idea of her jilting him, but also his pride as a man comes in, as he is very angry that she has cuckolded him, ruining his reputation. (Othello – “I will chop her into messes! Cuckold me!) He persuades himself that he doing it for noble reasons ‘else she’ll betray more men’ and tarnish their reputations also. In a way Othello’s high regard for reputation is what leads to his downfall and the ultimate destruction of his own good reputation. the damage done to his reputation is irreversible done the state great servicewants to be remembered as the great general he was and not a murdering husband gone insaneSpeak of me as I am At the end of the play, after the killing of Desdemona, Othello becomes concerned with the fact that he must punish himself for what he’s done. He realises that the damage done to his reputation is irreversible and he will never be respected or looked at in the same way again. However, before he kills himself, he reminds Lodovico and the others in the room that he has ‘done the state great service’ and wants to be remembered as the great general he was and not a murdering husband gone insane, as he asks them to ‘Speak of me as I am’.
Clima x the climax of Othello At this point, Othello is fixed in his course, and the disastrous ending of the play is unavoidable The end of Act 3, scene 3, is the climax of Othello. Convinced of his wife’s corruption, Othello makes a sacred oath never to change his mind about her or to soften his feelings toward her until he enacts a violent revenge. At this point, Othello is fixed in his course, and the disastrous ending of the play is unavoidable. Othello's soul is so hopelessly ensnared in Iago's web of treachery that he proclaims Iago as his new lieutenant and states tragically, "I am your own for ever" (3.3.449). Iago has secured a shaky dominance over Othello. He is within reach of his original objective of driving Othello to despair, but his victory is not secure, as Othello may yet think to blame Iago again for his suffering and turn against him. While Cassio and Desdemona live, Iago has gained only a little time in which to secure his position.
Example paragraph Tragic Hero hamartiaMachiavellian the climax of this tragic play downfall The key scene, Act 3 Scene 3 is a scene which could be described as particularly shocking. It depicts the Tragic Hero Othello as he succumbs to his hamartia, where the Machiavellian Iago manages to turn the loving and honourable Othello into a crazed and vengeful monster. By the end of the scene he plans to murder both his wife and his friend Cassio. As this is what happens at the climax of this tragic play it is clear that this scene is indeed important to the play as a whole as it shows how Othello’s downfall begins.
One wee thing (that was, like, dead frustrating) was your use of the phrase 'bring him down,' as in: 'Iago was determined to bring him down.' Here's the result of the pair- task to think of alternative (more literary) phrases: diminish his reputation bring about his demise tarnish his good name usurp his authority ruined his reputation end his feelings of euphoria usurp his power continue his vendetta against him cloud his nature in the eyes of others downgrade him from his position of power lessen him in Othello's eyes destroy his career / reputation emotionally cripple him bring about his downfall
Personal response is a key aspect of your Critical Essay Personal response is a key aspect of your Critical Essay. A marker must see that you have engaged with the text. A very structured way to achieve this is to make one of the following statements towards the end of your evaluation prior to the part where you link to the question: *This forces the reader to consider that... *It is therefore apparent to the reader that... *As such, the reader must consider... *This shows the reader that...
Possible questions Choose a play which has a character who has a fatal flaw. Describe the nature of the flaw and how it contributes to your understanding of the play as a whole. Choose a play where a character is obsessed. Describe the nature of the obsession and how it affects the character and the plot of the play. Choose a play where characters are engaged in a battle of wits or are otherwise opposed to each other. Choose a play where one character is changed by another’s words or actions.
Essay starters “Othello” by William Shakespeare is a tragedy caused by the main character’s fatal flaw, or hamartia, when he allows himself to be manipulated by Iago into believing lies about his wife and friend, which results in his downfall and tragic end. A play which is about a character with a fatal flaw is “Othello” by William Shakespeare. The tragic hero, Othello is a Moor and the General of the Venetian Army fighting the Turks. He allows himself to trust Iago rather than his wife and other friends and this leads to his downfall and death.
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What’s the flaw? Who does it affect? Why does he not see his own flaw? What causes this flaw in the first place? (Jealousy, own fears, isolation etc)