In all great stories, a unique sense of individuality is typically the main element of a compelling protagonist. This individuality usually sets up key conflicts in the story that drive the plot. Othello and Peekay are both characters that posses this unique individuality, and in each of their stories, it causes them to overcome or be destroyed by each of these conflicts. The unique individuality demonstrated by Othello and Peekay cause them to either rise above or fall to conflicts such as protagonist vs. erson, protagonist vs. society and protagonist vs. self. As much as the readers may enjoy the protagonists’ unique characteristics, there are often characters in the novel who despise them. These characters (usually known as the antagonists) are often the initiators of protagonist vs. person conflicts. In the case of Othello, his unique physical characteristics were the fuel to the fire that was Iago’s despise for him. Iago is the charcter in the story of Othello, which is the true cause of the eventual demise of Othello. Although Othello’s unique physical traits (the colour of his skin, physical features) were not the initial cause of Iago’s hatred for Othello, they were mentioned by Iago every time he schemed against Othello. It seems throughout the novel that Iago uses these insults to remind himself of his disgust for Othello. He often used metaphors that mocked Othello’s race. For example, “Even now, now, very now, an old black ram is tupping your white ewe. ” (I. i. 97-98). In this quote Iago uses the imagery of a black ram to describe Othello. In this way, Othello’s unique physical characteristics fuel the hatred of Iago, which in turn results in the demise of Othello. Therefore, this aspect of Othello’s unique individuality causes his fall, in the form of his demise. Similarly to Othello, the character Peekay’s unique racial characteristics are the main cause of his protagonist vs. person conflicts. Due to the fact that Peekay was a child of English decent, he was a victim of racism at the hands of the Boer children who occupied his boarding school. Peekay was mercilessly harassed by the Boer children, both physically and psychologically.
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