Othello Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 13 January 2017


William Shakespeare’s Othello is a play of love, murder and angst. Through the use of powerful scenes and great acting, Parker is able to portray Othello as the true hero that he is not made out to be. Fishburne is the right and only choice for the casting of Othello due to his powerful and emotional performance. Othello’s final speech at the end of the film convinces the audience that he has died for some kind of greater good. From the beginning of the movie, Lawrence Fishburne’s portrayal of Othello is nothing but flawless.

His portrayal of the character is one that William Shakespeare himself would have been proud of. He is powerful yet humble throughout the whole movie, even when it comes to the point where he murders his wife. Despite the fact that he has just murdered his wife, he stands up to the characters in the last scene in the most valiant of ways. His stance against the other people in the movie is one of the most memorable scenes because of Fishburne’s ability to convince the audience that he is doing something of great value.

Although he is in fact at fault for murdering his wife, he displays the courage and self-determination that make a true hero. Some would see Othello as a villain for killing his wife and a coward for killing himself, but in the context of the movie Fishburne makes the audience believe that he is not at fault for these acts. When one thinks of the great tragic heroes from Shakespeare’s plays names such as Hamlet and Macbeth are quickly mentioned. A name that should be given as much praise as the latter names is Othello. A tragic hero is someone who dies for a great cause and one can say that Othello is that character.

He dies for the people of Venice, who look up to him as an inspirational figure in their society, yet he can also be seen as a tragic character for falling into Iago’s trap. He is inspirational in the sense that he provides Venice a sense of hope throughout the feud with Cyprus, where his strong sense of leadership is crucial throughout the film. As much as he is shown to be this strong leader, he still seems to have his flaws. His jealous personality gets him into trouble throughout the play, which eventually leads him to his downfall and eventual death.

The fact that he would not believe his wife’s claims that she was not cheating on him, and that he believes Iago’s false claims shows the flaw that makes him the tragic hero. Every hero has his flaw, and Othello’s like that of Hamlet and Macbeth result in his death. In conclusion, Othello is a play of several themes, one of which being the portrayal of Othello as a tragic hero. Through Parker’s direction and Fishburne’s brilliant acting, the audience is able to see Othello in the true way Shakespeare wanted him to be shown.

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  • University/College: University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 13 January 2017

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