A Comparison of the Tragic Heroes Othello and Oedipus Rex

1. Introduction

Othello and Oedipus Rex are two of the most famous literary works ever written. Though they come from different time periods and cultures, they share many similarities. Both works are tragedies, and both main characters suffer greatly as a result of their own actions. In this essay, we will compare the two protagonists, Othello and Oedipus, and analyze their personal traits as well as how those traits led to their downfall.

2. Othello

– His Personal Traits

Othello is a tragic hero in William Shakespeare’s eponymous play. He is a Moorish general in the Venetian army whose love for the beautiful Desdemona leads him to ruin. Othello is a proud and noble man, but he is also easily manipulated and prone to jealousy. These traits ultimately lead to his undoing.

– How Those Traits Led to His Downfall

Othello’s tragic flaw is his jealousy. He is consumed by suspicion and mistrust, even when there is no evidence to support his fears. This causes him to make rash decisions, like killing his own wife, which only serve to further his downward spiral. Additionally, Othello is easily manipulated by others because of his pride and insecurity. Iago, his treacherous ensign, takes advantage of this by convincing Othello that Desdemona has been unfaithful. This finally drives Othello to madness and despair, leading him to kill himself in the end.

3. Oedipus Rex

– His Personal Traits

Oedipus Rex is the king of Thebes in Sophocles’ Greek tragedy of the same name. Like Othello, he is also a tragic hero whose actions lead to his downfall. Oedipus is intelligent and quick-witted, but he is also stubborn and arrogant. He Blindly believes that he can solve any problem and does not hesitate to take matters into his own hands, even when it would be wiser to leave them be. As a result of these traits, Oedipus ends up fulfilling a horrible prophecy: that he would kill his father and marry his mother.

– How Those Traits Led to His Downfall

Oedipus’ stubbornness and arrogance prevent him from seeing the truth even when it is staring him in the face. He refuses to believe that he could be capable of such atrocities, even when all the evidence points to him as the guilty party. Additionally, his hot temper leads him to lash out at those around him, further pushing them away when all he really wants is their help. In the end, Oedipus’ inability to accept reality leads him to blinded himself in order Vto escape the painful truth of his life.
4. Conclusion In conclusion, both Othello and Oedipus are tragic heroes who suffer as a result of their own actions and personal flaws. While their stories may differ in some ways, they ultimately share many similarities.


Othello is a tragic play by Shakespeare about the downfall of the title character, while Oedipus Rex is a Greek tragedy by Sophocles about the titular character's self-destruction.

Othello is consumed by jealousy, while Oedipus is blinded by pride.

Othello's tragic flaw leads him to believe that his wife Desdemona is unfaithful, causing him to kill her in a fit of rage. Oedipus' tragic flaw causes him to stubbornly refuse to believe that he could be responsible for the death of his father and blind himself in despair.