Allusion and Hamartia

Coincidentally, I stumbled across a memorable allusion while reading a book for my thesis project last week. The narrator, a poor teenage son of Mexican immigrants, described his boss at a restaurant he briefly worked at as “such a f*****g Scrooge,” in reference to his manager’s stingy overtime compensation habits. He complained that the manager ripped off the undocumented workers since he knew they could not complain to the authorities without triggering their own deportation.

Hamartia is a hero’s tragic flaw. In Othello, Othello’s hamartia is his poor judgement. He fails to recognize that he is being manipulated by Iago, setting aside his analytical military mind out of jealousy. Furthermore, he has difficulty discerning who to trust: Othello never considers that Iago might be lying to him, that he is angry about being passed over for a promotion; likewise, he refuses to accept that Desdemona as been true to him.

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