How To Write A Comparative Essay On Othello And Gatsby


These are two characters who have some similarities and enough differences to be a good contrast for your comparative essay. So how do you write this type of paper? This is an important skill to learn, as you will be using it many times over your scholastic career.

What steps to follow?

You need at least two or three points to compare. Your research and the facts you gather can be organized into clear and relevant content in your essay body to impress your readers and captivate their attention. You can do this by following the steps outlined here.

  1. Keep in mind you will be comparing, contrasting, and finding similarities and differences in your piece of written work. This is more than just giving a summary of each character or story.

  2. Make two lists. One is a list of similarities and the other a list of differences. Your essay will expound on the items in both your lists. If there are too many items, then choose the ones that appeal most to you or may produce the biggest shock factor for your reader.

  3. Conduct the research to get the details that support the items in your two lists. You will use this information to formulate the content for your comparative essay on Othello and Gatsby.

What information to use?

You should be very familiar with both these characters, Othello and Gatsby, before attempting to write this essay. Here are some ideas you can use as a foundation or starting place to get your creative juices flowing. The ideas that come from your own head are going to be the best ones to use, but just in case you need a head start, consider the following:

  • Both Othello by Shakespeare and the Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald are representations of tragedy. They both embody the fall of a great or notable person.

  • They both display the downfall of a man who loved not wisely but excessively.

  • Othello initially has the woman of his dreams whereas Gatsby is in search of who he thinks would be the woman of his dreams.

  • Othello recognizes how shortcomings and failure in life whereas Gatsby is killed before he reaches that stage.

  • Both characters show high sensitivity to the perceptions of others.

  • Othello’s demons include being a man of color, an outsider, his status as a soldier and his precipitous view of his own success.

  • Gatsby’s demons include trying to conceal his own background and fear of rejection in social settings.

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