Othello V.’S. Macbeth: Battle of Tragedy

2438 words 10 pages
In Shakespeare’s plays Othello and Macbeth the audience is presented with two great heroes who both poses a certain character flaw that inevitably leads to their downfall. This is the idea behind a tragic hero; a person of great importance comes to a tragic end because of a serious flaw in his character. Both Othello and Macbeth find themselves on top of the world one moment and being crushed beneath it the next. The next logical comparison to make between two of Shakespeare’s tragic heroes is who is more tragic, who fits the design of the tragic hero more closely, Othello or Macbeth.
In order for one to judge who best fits the mold of the tragic hero, Othello or Macbeth, some criteria for being compared must be decided upon. The great
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One redeeming scene where Macbeth seems good is after he has killed Duncan; he cannot comprehend what he has done, and the thought of his terrible actions almost drives him insane. Following this scene Macbeth’s noble side is not displayed again, and only his wife offers any testimony to his kind nature; she states that he is too full of the milk of human kindness and he might not be able to murder Duncan. Macbeth barely fits Aristotle’s first criteria for a tragic hero since the audience never sees his good side, but only hears about it second hand. Othello and Macbeth both fit Aristotle’s second criteria perfectly. Given the time period, in which they lived, their position as generals of their country armies defiantly qualifies them as suitable heroes. Othello had been a soldier since he was seven years old, and Macbeth was made the Thane of Cawdor out of respect for his great war prowess. Othello is a foreigner who worked hard to climb the ranks of the venetian army, an army full of people who did not look like Othello and probably would have thought less of him because of his color difference. Othello was even able to gain the trust of none other than the duke of Venice and the senate. The people of Venice trusted only Othello to vanquish their foe the Ottoman Empire. Macbeth too had the complete trust of his king and the respect of all the other generals of


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