Compare Oedipus Rex And Othello-The Power Of The Lie

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Oedipus Rex and Othello-The Power of the Lie Aristotle defines a tragic hero to be a man with outstanding greatness, but cursed with a tragic flaw. Tragic heroes have typically been linked to tragedies and two excellent examples of tragic heroes are: Oedipus Rex and Othello. In Othello by William Shakespeare, Othello is driven to his end by his irrational actions, and fate. Sophocles also presents his work Oedipus Rex to tell the pitiful story of Oedipus who was condemned by gods to a terrible fate. In both dramas, William Shakespeare and Sophocles presented tragic heroes that were led to their downfalls by the power of fate, and the consequences of their freewill actions. Through Oedipus, Sophocles shows that fate will control an individual’s…show more content…
Othello is presented as a respectful and honorable prince loved by all, but unexpectedly he grows an enemy, Iago. Iago vows to get vengeance on Othello because Othello made Cassio his lieutenant instead of Iago. Iago then takes control of fate in the play as he diabolically invents a plan to manipulate Othello into believing that Desdeomona was having an affair with Cassio. Furthermore, Othello’s tragic flaw was that he was gullible, therefore eventhough Othello was infatuated with Desdemona he chose to believe in Iago’s lies about Desdemona’s “affair”. For example, throughout the entire play, Othello committed irrational actions voluntarily because he was overtaken by jealousy that Iago developed with lies. “Let it alone/Come, I’ll go in with you” demonstrates that Othello demanded Desdemona to leave the handkerchief on the floor (Oth. 3.3.289). Fate is clearly in control because Othello dropping the handkerchief set in motion all the bad consequences that came after like Emilia picking it up and giving it to Iago. Iago then plants it into Cassio’s possession, which Iago then uses to further convince Othello of the affair. Furthermore, Othello’s gullibility facilitates Iago’s plan, and Othello makes his death and the death of Desdemona inevitable. He turns into a vindictive man, and strikes and calls Desdemona a “Devil” (Oth. 4.224). Othello willing allows…show more content…
Although that might be the case in other tragedies, in Othello and Oedipus Rex both forces of fate and free will were present. However, even though both free will and fate contributed to the downfalls of the tragic heroes, the impact the forces had were not equally balanced. In Othello for starters, “I pray talk me of Cassio” exposes that fate drives Othello to his end because he was easily deceived by Iago, and anytime Desdemona spoke of Cassio he was further convinced of the fabricated affair (Oth. 3.4.87). In reality, Desdemona in this conversation was simply trying to convince Othello to give Cassio back his position, but Othello viewed it as her purposely trying to change the topic about the handkerchief to her “lover” Cassio. This enrages Othello and confirms his suspicions, which leads him to seek vengeance. Unlike how fate is controlled by Iago in Othello, fate in Oedipus Rex is determined by the gods. “What has God done to me” signifies that Oedipus’s end was determined by gods, and his free will actions to avoid it were pointless because his fate was always unavoidable (Oed. Exo.1263). It may seem to others that Oedipus’s downfall was mainly due to his fate, but Oedipus chose to leave Cornith, allowing the prophecy to become a reality. Also people may make statements about Othello‘s fall being due to fate only. However,

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