William Shakespeare wrote many plays, comedies and tragedies, in his lifetime. Most of these plays were based on short stores or even historical personages or events. His tragedy, Othello, The Moor of Venice is no exception to this rule. Shakespeare took the idea of Othello from an Italian short story by Giambattista Cinthio. In this play, Shakespeare takes his tragic hero through a series of painful and serious situations that lead to major consequences for all of those involved.
Shakespeareâ€™s use of a tragic hero and a wicked antagonist adds to the effectiveness of the play. He characterizes in great depth by using soliloquies and conversation between the characters. Othello, a Moor, is the protagonist or main character. He is obviously an upstanding person of Venice. His virtues are admired by all, and he is respected and known for being a well-liked military leader. Othello follows all the guidelines for being a tragic hero. He is a noble, having royal blood and of being not an ordinary man but one of outstanding quality (Ch. 3, p. 1016). He has self-control. To show his courageousness, Shakespeare uses a Senatorâ€™s remark: â€œHere comes Brabantino and the valiant Moor.â€ (1.3.47) Throughout the play, Othello is continually commented on by characters attesting to his courage and military leadership. He has spent his life on a battlefield. He states in Act I, Scene 3, â€œFor since these arms of mine had seven yearsâ€™ pitch till now some nine moons wasted, they have used their dearest action in the tented field.â€ (1.3.82-85) Othello is also a lover. He loves Desdemona with all of his heart and soul. In his defense against Desdemonaâ€™s father, Othello exclaims, â€œHow did I thrive in this fair ladyâ€™s love.â€ (1.3.125) He has faith in his young bride. Faith and trust help to lead to this tragic heroâ€™s downfall.