Dramatic Monologue of the Tragic Hero Othello

Categories: FictionHeroOthello

In Act V. Scene ii., Othello says his last words. In this dramatic monologue, he asks the people around him, including Lodovico, Cassio, and Gratiano, to speak about the events that had taken place with as much truth as possible. Othello describes himself as a man who was not typically jealous or emotional and who loved his wife very much, but was manipulated into committing a terrible crime. After his speech, Othello proceeds to stab himself to death.

One of the most noteworthy aspects of Othello’s last monologue is that he would take time to say one at all.

When comparing Iago’s last words to Othello’s, the reader can see a stark difference between the two men’s characters. Iago’s last words are “Demand me nothing. What you know, you know./ From this time forth I never will speak word” (306-307). Iago refuses to speak, most likely because he cannot justify himself, but on the other hand, Othello wants to ensure that his reputation remains intact.

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The fact that he would ask his audience to speak about him fairly, not with too much or too little criticism, shows that up until his death he valued his reputation. Othello’s monologue is full of heroic language, a quality that he credits to wooing Desdemona earlier in Act I. He uses beautiful metaphors “tears as fast as the Arabian trees/ Their medicinal gum” (406-407). However, Othello did not show a shred of regret or remorse for Desdemona until he realized that he had been wrong about her infidelity.

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Othello’s love for storytelling keeps him away from telling the complete truth, even though he claims that he wants to be known truthfully. Although Othello asks his audience to judge him fairly, his diction reveals that his preoccupation with himself stands in the way of his ability to grasp the magnitude of his actions. Othello’s request of Lodovico, Cassio, and Gratiano is that “when [they] shall these unlucky deeds relate/ Speak of shim) as she is]” (397-398).

In the midst of the mass murders of Desdemona, Emilia, and Roderigo, Othello reduces them to “unlucky deeds” and immediately shifts the focus to himself. Othello describes himself as “not easily jealous;” however, when Iago first insinuates that Desdemona is unfaithful, Othello becomes extremely jealous and possessive of her (401). Furthermore, in regards to Desdemona, Othello claims that he “loved not wisely but too well” (400).

The flippant attitude with which he addresses his wife, whom he murdered, suggests an underlying egotism and a lack of understanding of the true implications of his actions. Othello’s monologue is wrought with analogies that reveal his self-perception, which may give insight into the insecurities that led to his downfall. In reference to Desdemona, he compares himself to “the base Indian, [who] threw a pearl away/ Richer than all his tribe” (403 404). Later, Othello compares the way he hit a “malignant and a turban’d Turk” to the way he stabs himself after he concludes his speech (409). In both of these allusions, Othello draws a comparison between himself and a foreigner.

These descriptions indicate that by this point, Othello considers himself an outsider amongst the Venetians, just as many of them had believed all along. In conclusion, the nuances of Othello’s last monologue indicate that he was not an inherently evil man, but he also was not as blameless as he claimed. Othello’s preoccupation with his reputation, perhaps caused by his disadvantage as a colored man, causes him to be somewhat unsympathetic to the atrocities that had taken place. Othello is a classic tragic hero whose noble aspects make him more forgivable despite his outstanding flaws and follies.

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Dramatic Monologue of the Tragic Hero Othello. (2022, Nov 08). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/dramatic-monologue-of-the-tragic-hero-othello-essay

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