A Shakespearean tragedy is one that encompasses many different elements. Shakespeare presents all of these elements spectacularly in Othello. For a tragedy to occur there are five conditions. The protagonist, Othello in this case, must experience a death or a total loss of ranking in society. The audience must also be captured by the actors and feel some sort of connection to them. This is known as catharsis. In Shakespearean tragedies the protagonist always has a character defect or a tragic flaw. This tragic flaw along with pride will cause the protagonist to make an error in judgement leading him to his downfall and eventual death. These two elements are called hubris and
hamartia. The unities of time, space, and action must also be
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It is a very touchy and emotional subject. Anyone who has ever fallen in love can relate to Othello and Desdemona. They are viewed as the perfect newly-weds who have each other as compliments. Desdemona shows us this by protesting to the Duke and her father that she "saw Othello's visage in his mind, And to his honor and his valiant parts Did I my soul and fortunes consecrate" (I, 3, 247-249). The love between her and Othello is one of great passion and breaking barriers. They were many years apart, came from different races, and were different colors of skin, something that was unheard of in their time. Obstacles such as these, even in our day, are very difficult to overcome. When reading or watching Othello being performed one cannot help but to feel envy for the love they have. In this tragedy, catharsis presents something the audience cannot avoid.
Hubris and Hamartia are two components of a Shakespearean tragedy that are very much intertwined because of their basis on pride. Hubris is when the protagonist is consumed with pride and believes that fate can be beaten. Evidence of Othello's pride is based on the thought, "No one messes around with Othello!" This becomes his eventual downfall. The reader remembers in act III, scene 3 when Iago had planted false evidence of Desdemona's unfaithfulness; Othello reacted in a very calm way, mostly in disbelief. In act IV, scene 1 when Iago brings more evidence of Desdemona's infidelity Othello