The Tragic Hero In Oedipus Rex And Othello

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A tragic hero is a man of noble stature or high position that has a tragic flaw that leads to his downfall. The men in these stories are tragic heroes whose downfall are influenced and caused by lies. In the dramas Oedipus Rex by Sophocles and Othello by William Shakespeare, the men’s will and their words shape the tragic hero’s destiny. In the play Oedipus Rex, Oedipus’s downfall was lead by his own choices. Oedipus had been raised by Polybus and Merope, the king and queen of Corinth. When he grew up, he learned about his prophecy which said he would kill his own father and marry his mother. Since he believed they were his birth parents, he was petrified. Othello did not want to hurt his parents so after hearing “all this [he]…show more content…
Othello is married to Desdemona. Throughout the story his friend, Iago, gets Othello to question Desdemona’s faithfulness. Iago tells him lies to get him to believe that his lieutenant, Cassio, is having an affair with his wife. Othello believes Iago and orders Cassio’s death. He is angered and says, “within these three days let me hear thee say/ that Cassio’s not alive” (Oth. 3.3.473-4). Othello chose to sentence Cassio to his death because of a lie he believed. He never asked Cassio about the truth because he was angry. Othello let his anger get in the way of his rational thinking causing him to make a bad decision that lead to his downfall. He also sentenced Desdemona to her death when he said, “Aye, let her rot, and perish, and be damned tonight, for she/ shall not live” (Oth. 4.1.169-170). Othello was outraged when he heard about the affair that he made rash decisions. Othello wanted to kill Desdemona for breaking his heart. However, he never asked her about the so-called affair. He ended up killing her which lead to his own downfall. Othello had been misled and believed lies which was his flaw. He caused his own downfall by deciding to kill Desdemona without affirming the…show more content…
In Oedipus Rex, Oedipus’s prophecy was his fate. He was destined to marry his mother and kill his father because of the prophecy. Oedipus found out the truth at the end and realized his prophecy came true therefore saying, “I, Oedipus,/ Oedipus, damned in his birth, in his marriage damned,/ damned in the blood shed with his own hand” (Oed. 4.1121-3). His destiny was a factor that led to his downfall. He fulfilled his prophecy which he was entitled to do. In Othello, Emilia finding Desdemona’s handkerchief is fate. Desdemona had a handkerchief which was very dear to her. Desdemona dropped it and Emilia found it saying, “I am glad I have found this napkin. / This was her first remembrance from the Moor” (Oth. 3.3.291-2). This handkerchief played a role in the outcome. It was used as evidence for the affair. It had been fate that Emilia found it. Although fate plays a role in their downfall, the men’s decisions overall create their downfall. Their actions are the reason why they have their downfall. Oedipus had the choice of staying in Corinth and asking his adoptive parents about the truth. He also could’ve gotten out of the way instead of killing Laios. He made those decisions which caused his downfall. Othello could’ve confronted Desdemona and Cassio to find out the truth instead of wanting to kill them. He made those decisions on his own. Ultimately, their bad choices lead to their
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