Compare And Contrast Othello As A Modern Tragic Hero

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“Tragic hero” is now defined by two vastly different categories; one of them being the modern tragic hero –Arthurs Miller’s perspective -and the other being the classic tragic hero- Aristotle’s perspective of them. Aristotle’s view defines a tragic hero as a literary character who makes a judgement error that inevitably leads to their own destruction whereas, Arthur Miller says that one who attempts to “gain their ‘rightful’ position in society” and in doing so struggle for their dignity. A modern tragic hero is described through traits like Hamartia (Tragic flaw), Peripeteia (Reversal of Fortune) and Excessive Pride. However both have a few varying traits defining them as modern or classical. Modern Tragic Heroes usually end with their death and are…show more content…
Both Othello and Willy Loman both died in their respective plays, however Arthur Miller says that a Modern Tragic hero must be an average member or even lower member of the society and though Willy Loman meets this demand Othello does not since he is a Moor of Venice - a very privileged position during that time. Therefore, it is determined that Willy Loman is a Modern Tragic hero whereas Othello does not meet the criteria set by Miller. Although, Othello does have Anagnorisis at the end when Emilia enters Desdemona’s chambers to see her dying and tells Othello about her husband- Iago’s manipulations; Willy Loman never recognizes his actions and faults. Till the end he believes that he was a great salesman and that everyone would attend his funeral and that his family would be happy without him. Also, Willy Loman’s fate cannot be determined since he was actually trying to die as proved by the nipple in the gas pipe which might have been used by him as a way to asphyxiate himself and in the end his death was

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