Later, when Othello hits Desdemona because he believes her support for Cassio is due to an affair, Desdemona simply responds by saying "I have not deserved this" before telling Othello that she "will not stay to offend" him (4.1.241, 247). Although Othello is in grips of his own ignorance and anger, his petulant, sarcastic criticisms of Desdemona actually help to demonstrate her own failure when he tells Lodovico that "she's obedient, as you say, obedient, / very obedient" (4.1.255-256). hen Othello later calls Desdemona a strumpet and a whore, she almost begins to see the error of her blind subservience, to the point that she even tells Emilia that she has no lord (4.2.102). Even then, however, she remains woefully ignorant and entirely too self-effacing, stating that "those that do teach young babes / do it with gentle means and easy tasks: / he might have chid me so; for,…… [Read More]
Othello continues to change the subject and make light of it, but Desdemona persists asking "Shall't be to-night at supper?" And "To-morrow dinner, then?" (I, ii). From Othello's responses, it is clear that he is becoming annoyed. However, Desdemona remains unaware of this and persists. This is a sign of how naive she is because it shows that she is not aware of Othello's feelings. She is not capable of observing that he is not interested and it is not the time to convince him. Instead, she just continues to repeat herself as she tries to get Othello to listen to her and agree with what she wants. This also shows that she is naive because she is more intent on what she promised Cassio than the promise she made to Othello when she married him. This shows that she is driven by her own goodness and by her own…… [Read More]
Iago is a sinner and loves every minute of it.
Othello commits a grievous sin in the play but when we look at the facts, it is easy to see why he did it. He was emotionally overwrought and had every reason to doubt his wife. If her were being defended in court today, he could no doubt get off by reason of temporary insanity. He was pushed to the edge by a very conniving man and simply lost control of his emotions. This is certainly seen at the end of the play when he realizes what he has done and decides to take his own life. Othello can only be responsible for loving too much. The sin committed against him does not excuse his actions but they help us understand Othello more clearly. He is not a calculating murderer. He is not Iago. He illustrates every man in…… [Read More]
Looking for the Wise Fool who should have been present to keep these plays comic, Constance must have her interlude with Desdemona to set up the rest of the action of the play. Iago and his buckets of filth are integral to the Act because without him, Constance would not discover Desdemona's warrior side, she would not be able to show Othello that Iago is treacherous and not to be trusted, and she would not ultimately have to fight Desdemona and end up in the next play, "omeo and Juliet." Thus, Iago portrays the ultimate theme that the plays were comedies, and also portrays the "filth" that muddies much of the academic world. Dramatically he and his buckets serve a vital purpose, and thematically they serve a vital purpose, and without them, Act II, scene ii would not make as much sense or be as funny as it is.
eferences…… [Read More]
Virtually anyone who reads Shakespeare's tragedy Othello readily notices that despite his noble nature and good intentions, the title character of this work, Othello, is plagued by numerous faults which eventually lead to not only his own downfall, but also to that of his wife. Shakespeare portrays Othello as a good hearted man who is prone to fits of both anger and illness. However, his primary fault is his overall credulousness which, when combined with his previously mentioned faults, leaves him highly susceptible to the machinations of Iago -- one whose evil intentions a more discerning leader would have detected. It is due to Iago's intricate planning that Othello eventually believes that Desdemona is unfaithful to him, and kills her for that perceived transgression. However, all of Iago's cunningness would have gone for naught had Othello endeavored to be less gullible and trusting. Ultimately, it was this credulousness…… [Read More]
Moreover, when Desdemona's handkerchief goes missing, and Othello approaches her about it, clearly thinking that she has given it to Cassio, Desdemona does not suspect that Emilia has taken the handkerchief from her.
Unfortunately for Desdemona, her trusting nature ends up being her fatal flaw. Othello becomes increasingly cruel to Desdemona throughout the course of the play. Although the audience is not aware of their entire romantic history, it appears that they have been involved in a platonic friendship for a substantial period of time, but only involved in an intimate relationship for a short period of time. The audience is certain that the marriage has been of a relatively short duration. However, despite the fact that there cannot be a long history of Othello treating Desdemona appropriately, Desdemona plays the role of obedient wife. At the end of the play, Othello orders Desdemona to stay in her bed. In…… [Read More]
Jealousy in Othello
Othello, by William Shakespeare, is a play demonstrating that we all have strengths and weaknesses and that while the best of us will focus on people's strengths, the worst of us will not only not weaknesses but use them in destructive ways. Throughout the play, the weakness of jealousy, directly or indirectly, brings the destruction and downfall of all the major characters, including not only Othello and his bride Desdemona, but Iago, his wife Emilia, Roderigo and Cassio.
Othello is particularly vulnerable because, being a Moor, he is somewhat an outsider (Weller, PAGE). He is accepted as a leader in society and as a great military man, but he is aware of his differences. He used them to charm those around him, wooing and winning the beautiful Desdemona and then defending her marriage to others, but the villain of the play, Iago, knows that it can be…… [Read More]
Poetry of Othello
Emilia is the person speaking, and she is the wife of Iago. She is speaking to Desdemona, and she is discussing the faults of men, and how they tend to blame them on women. Desdemona replies that one must not counter bad with bad, thus reiterating the meaning of the play.
But I / do think / it is / their hus / bands' faults
If wives / do fall. / Say that / they slack / their duties
And pour / our trea / sures in / to for / eign laps;
Or else / break out / in pee / vish jeal / ou sies,
Throwing res / traint upon / us; or / say they / strike us,
Or scant / our form / er hav / ing in de / spite
Why, we / have galls; / and though / we have…… [Read More]
Humanities 202 FINAL EXAM
Emilia: the wife of Iago. She provides the handkerchief for her husband, unwittingly facilitating Iago's orchestrated revenge upon Othello. However, she sympathizes with Desdemona, regarding all men as savages. She represents the ugly side of Iago's view of women, as there are hints Iago has abused her and he openly treats her cruelly when she irritates him -- eventually he kills her when she reveals his scheme.
Roderigo: a commoner who foolishly and hopelessly loves Desdemona, and stupidly trusts Iago. Like Othello, he also is desperate to advance in society and subject to the green-eyed monster of jealousy over a woman. Like Iago he is also jealous of those of more military advancement than himself.
Cassio: Michael Cassio is the man who Othello promotes to lieutenant rather than Iago at the beginning of the play. He is handsome and dashing, even though he is less experienced…… [Read More]
This intellectual error thus prevents Othello from thinking clearly about his wife after Iago has planted the idea that Desdemona has been unfaithful to him. Furthermore, "The Fall of Othello," John Arthos notes, "Othello fell into chaos before the murder was done" (95). Othello's confusion is evident as he tells Iago, "I think my wife be honest and think she is not;/I think that thou art just and think thou art not (Shakespeare 3.3.385-386). Iago manipulates Othello into believing women cannot be trusted based on his own prejudices against them. Iago, in a conversation with his wife Emilia claims that women "are pictures out of doors,/Bells in your parlours, wild-cats in your kitchens,/Saints in your injuries, devils being offended,/Players in your housewifery, and housewives in your beds" (2.1.111-114).
Iago further exploits Othello's uncertainties about Desdemona to the point where he eventually convinces him that he must kill Desdemona for her…… [Read More]
ole of Women in Othello
The Conflicting Female ole in Shakespeare's Othello
In Shakespeare's Othello, women are in a state of turmoil. On the one hand, the women in the play have to remain obedient to the subservient standards of life as a female in the 15th and 16th centuries in Europe. Yet, on the other hand, there are signs of a new, strong and independent female emerging within Shakespeare's characters. In Othello, Shakespeare juxtaposes the characteristics of the traditional, obedient woman with a new, more independent one. Desdemona's willing death at the hand of her husband illustrates Shakespeare's suggestion that strictly following these outdated gender norms will only lead to individual destruction; while Emilia, and her more independent ways stands up against her husband's ill will.
To understand the role of women in the play, it is first important to see how they are viewed by the men in…… [Read More]
Emilia, Wife of Iago
Do not learn of him, Emilia, though he be thy husband.[footnoteRef:1] [1: Othello, Act II, Scene i.]
More than once, I think to myself how life could have been differed between that of my previous past to that which I have now. A woman whose prospects boiled down to nothing as important as marriage could not have many to begin with. But a husband whose soul blackens the very environment, whose tongue twists morality, whose plots send shivers down my little spine? No, even this I had not asked for, not one bit.
If my good mother was still alive, I would wager that her argument would play out as follows:[footnoteRef:2] [2: Theme: The hardships of mother-daughter relationships (Lucy by Jamaica Kinkaid)]
How now, Emilia, where is your sense? Was it really so bad to leave Mantua[footnoteRef:3], to head face-front to the catastrophe that is your…… [Read More]
Othello, by William Shakespeare. Specifically, it will contain a major and minor character analysis. Othello and Desdemona are intertwined in the play, and the tragic fall of Othello could not occur without Desdemona's ultimate betrayal.
The major character of Othello in the play "Othello" is a tragic hero who allows himself to be manipulated by those around him, especially Iago and Desdemona. Othello is an interesting character, in that he is a "moor," or a black man in a largely white world, who indeed marries a white woman. He is a strong leader, who is given command over Cyprus, and is generally accepted by those around him, as this passage shows, "And, noble signior, If virtue no delighted beauty lack, Your son-in-law is far more fair than black" (Shakespeare Act I, scene iii).
Unfortunately, Othello trusts his "friends" too much, and they plan and plot against him, ultimately leading…… [Read More]
Shakespeare's Othello, the Moor of Venice is a tragic play that details Othello's rise as an experienced combat leader and his tragic fall from grace due to his ancient, Iago's, manipulations and strategies. During the course of the play, Iago attempts to sabotage Othello through various means including informing Brabantio that his daughter, Desdemona, had married Othello behind his back in addition to successfully convincing Othello that Desdemona had been unfaithful to his, which results in Othello killing her. In the play, it can be argued that Brabantio's objection to Othello and Desdemona's marriage hinges on several factors, which include religion and social standing and background. On the other hand, Iago's motivations are fueled by jealousy and rage, as he was not promoted to the position of lieutenant like he had hoped.
Brabantio's reaction to Othello and Desdemona's elopement is very negative. Brabantio contends, "She is abused, stol'n…… [Read More]
Aeschylus - the Oresteia (Agamemnon, Libation Bearers and Eumenides)
The Oresteia offers the reader a close and intensive immersion with a truly pained universe of suffering: each play still has at its core a sense of flush of promise and vibrancy of Athens that was pushing forth and evolving into greatness. Even so, the author Aeschylus is able to captures a sense of the undercurrents of the primal vengeance that still defined this society. Each of the plays has in a common a strong pillar of the humanity and the lack of humanity that needs to be held in balance as the events spin and unfold. One could argue that the notion of suffering into truth is something which defines each of the plays in the trilogy. For instance, the first play thrusts the reader into a world which has been largely defined by the suffering of the Trojan War…… [Read More]
He does so to mask his true malicious intentions. Here he shows how his manipulation is actually paying off, "[...] He [Othello] holds me well; / the better my purpose shall work on him," (I.3.382). Iago shows his audience yet another motivation for his ensuing treachery in this passage as well. Earlier in the play, Iago spoke about his own jealousy towards Cassio when Othello choose him over Iago for the position Iago desperately wanted. Despite Othello's reasoning behind his decision, Iago's jealousy has obviously not subsided at this point in the play, "Cassio's a proper man. Let me see now: / to get his place, and to plume up my will / in double knavery-" (I.3.384-386). Iago reveals that he will commit double treachery, ruining both Cassio and Othello in his plot to frame Desdemona's betrayal with the innocent Cassio.
The last chunk of the passage is where Iago's…… [Read More]
Humanity Revealed in Shakespeare's Othello
Shakespeare knew what he was doing when he creating characters full of good and bad qualities. We need only to look at his drama, Othello, to see a wide range of them. Othello, Iago, and Desdemona are colorful creations of human nature. What they reveal is the astonishing truth that regardless of how much we "progress" as a society, we do not change a whole lot. We make find ourselves finding cures for certain diseases, playing with technological gadgets, and exploring space, but the truth remains that we are still the same kinds of human beings Shakespeare watched every day. Shakespeare highlights jealousy, trust, racism, and physiological drama in Othello and these themes are very much a part of our modern society. At the end of the day, we are still human and are driven by our basal desires, which can ultimately lead to our…… [Read More]
Dramatic device of fateful tragedy in Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) but in a comic end. And comparison of mistake to Othello.
There are a series of parallels between Ann-Marie MacDonald's play Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) and illiam Shakespeare's plays Othello and Romeo and Juliet. MacDonald largely focused on taking a series of elements from Shakespeare's plays and using them in a way that contradicts their original purpose. The central character of MacDonald's play, Constance Ledbelly, attempts to demonstrate how Shakespere's plays were initially comedies that the playwright altered with the purpose of having them better fit a dramatic line of thoughts (Flaherty 55).
MacDonald's play goes further than to simply address the nature of Shakespeare's plays, as the writer uses the central character in an attempt to bring comedy to the English playwright's works. "By turning tragedy into comedy, MacDonald's text allows the doomed heroines Desdemona and Juliet…… [Read More]
" (2.1). He looks for the worst in people and always finds it.
What is it about Othello that makes him an easy target? That is, he appears to be a tough soldier…so why, then, doesn't he just tell Iago to piss off, pardon the French, when Iago starts talking about Desdemona being unfaithful?
Othello is a black man in a racist society, who must constantly prove his worth, thus he has a strong but fragile sense of personal honor. As he is a career military man he has little experience with women as people, and is more apt to trust the word of a fellow soldier like Iago. He is also a cultural alien in Venetian society. This makes him more likely to believe Iago's comments about Venetian women's untrustworthiness. He is older than Desdemona, and does not know her very well, perhaps less well than Iago.…… [Read More]
Simultaneously, he forces a man long upheld as honest in the highest Venetian circles into scheming and manipulations; these are roles which Iago takes on too readily, suggesting a certain familiarity, but it must be preserved that no earlier instance is ever presented to suggest that the notables of Venice were in any way wrong to uphold Iago as honest and true. In fact, those same notables are those that appealed to Othello on Iago's behalf in the question of the promotion. Allowing passion to rule what should be societal decisions is Othello's barbarism cracking through the veneer of his civility. Othello, though a great soldier, is no Caesar nor even a Roman at all. His nature is of the wild, and -- like many tamed, wild beasts -- he retains the inner potential to one day bite the hand that feeds him.
And, even after Othello's barbarian passion has…… [Read More]
Therefore, she is the most beloved of the three, at least until Othello loses his faith in her and her fidelity, and so, she has a better relationship with her husband through a portion of the play.
While the women are all important to the central action and theme of the play, they actually play very minor roles throughout the scenes. Desdemona appears the most and is a central character, but the men dominate the play, and Shakespeare uses the women as a love/hate interest and to add the motive for jealousy to the play. The men create all the action (and all the misunderstandings). It seems if Shakespeare had left the play in the women's hands, they would have worked out a more viable solution and understood what was going on much quicker.
Shakespeare, William. The Works of William Shakespeare Gathered into One Volume. New York: Oxford University…… [Read More]
room in the castle.
Enter OTHELLO, LODOVCO, DESDEMONA, EMLA and Attendants
do beseech you, sir, trouble yourself no further.
O, pardon me: 'twill do me good to walk.
Madam, good night; humbly thank your ladyship.
Your honour is most welcome.
Will you walk, sir?
O, -- Desdemona,
Get you to bed on the instant; will be returned forthwith: dismiss your attendant there: look it be done.
will, my lord.
Exeunt OTHELLO, LODOVCO, and Attendants
How goes it now? he looks gentler than he did.
He says he will return incontinent:
He hath commanded me to go to bed,
And bade me to dismiss you.
t was his bidding: therefore, good Emilia,.
Give me my nightly wearing, and adieu:
We must not now displease him.
would you had never seen him!
So would…… [Read More]
Jealousy and Ignorance in Othello, The Moor of Venice
In Shakespeare's Othello, the Moor of Venice, the concepts of love and friendship are explored through the manipulation of Othello by Iago. In this play, Iago is able to destroy the relationship between Othello and Desdemona, his wife, by convincing Othello that his wife has been disloyal to him and the sanctity of their marriage. An argument may be made that Othello's jealousy clouded his judgment and that his ignorance of what romantic love was contributed to his demise.
Othello, the Moor of Venice is the tragic story of the war hero, Othello, and the great lengths that his supposed friend and compatriot, Iago, went to in order to take away Othello's political power. Iago's quest begins when he is passed over for promotion and Michael Cassio, who he believes to be less qualified than him, is promoted to the position…… [Read More]
cause of Othello's tragedy: a fine line, not between love and hate, but too heavy a line between men and women
Othello: "It is the cause, oh my soul"
Act 5, Scene II
hat is the cause of the bloody end of "Othello?" Othello has one of the most horrifying ends of all of Shakespeare's tragedies -- a man smothers a woman he apparently loves, who gave up everything to marry him, and then kills himself when he discovers that she was chaste. Is it the cause of this terrible rooted in Othello's soul? The protagonists himself suggests that the cause is the thin line that exists between love and hate, as he looms over what will become his bride's death-bed at the end of the tragedy that bears his name, and his dying words are that he is a man who loved too much rather than too little. In…… [Read More]
They will go to far to hire a mercenary like Iago to pursue their goal for them. There are Othellos today as there was a shining one in Shakespeare's fiction or time. Military heroes like him have secret vulnerabilities, which reveal themselves in unguarded or trying moments. As a self-claimed victim of a foreign culture, Othello's cry of discrimination resounds in contemporary society despite his accomplishments.
Contentment in life is everyone's universal pursuit. That pursuit takes on what the present culture makes available and is most suitable at the moment. Othello perceives that his contentment goes beyond acclaim and military power. It includes having a dutiful and beautiful wife in Desdemona. He pours his weakest on him and on a scheming subordinate, Iago. Othello's credulousness is not confined to Shakespeare's time. Credulousness is universal. People living and thriving in a country with a different culture must invest in trust or…… [Read More]
Racism as Presented in Shakespeare's 'Othello'
The play Othello by William Shakespeare is the tragic story of a man who has moved from one culture to another. He looks differently than others because of Negroid features, which are mentioned in the play (thick lips compared to Europeans, and dark skin). Possibly because his not completely familiar with the culture within which he lives, he trusts the wrong people, with tragic results.
From the very opening of the play, Iago describes Othello physically but denies him a name (in fact we never hear Othello's name until the third scene). Iago describes how he must pretend to be loyal to Othello, saying, tis the curse of service,
Preferment goes by letter and affection,
Now, sir, be judge yourself
Whether I in any just term am affin'd
To love the Moor." (I.i)
Anyone familiar with the history of racism in the United States…… [Read More]
Shakespeare uses the soliloquy in Act 2 Scene 3 lines 335-362 to demonstrate to the audience Igao's nature and to provide insight into his character. In this scene, Igao reveals a devious plot that involves three other characters in the play with the intention on destroying two of them, Othello and Cassio. The third, Desdemona, is secondary and her function to him is only as a vessel to carry his plan into action.
By content alone, one may deduce that Igao lacks strong character and a high moral value. It is difficult to believe that a character with a strong sense of morality would hatch such a plot, regardless of the circumstances that causes Iago's actions. We know that the circumstances that fuel his motivation certainly do not warrant this type of action by Igao. But for argument's sake, even if the circumstances were different and Iago was not…… [Read More]
On one hand, Iago's racism and spite seal Othello's fate -- but on the other hand, there is a suggestion that his nature may predispose him to such violence and credulousness.
hen realizing his folly, Othello, who told about his enslavement as a young man while wooing Desdemona, says he is enslaved once again, this time to the devil: "O cursed slave!/hip me, ye devils,/From the possession of this heavenly sight!" (5.2). Othello also uses blackness to characterize evil, and goodness is portrayed as fair and light. But this does not necessarily support a racist reading of the play, the reading that Othello's true nature is coming forth. Rather, it shows that Othello is affected by racism, just as much as the other characters -- just like Brabantio who will accept a Moor as a guest, not a son-in-law, and just like Iago who can cunningly use Othello's race against…… [Read More]
Upper-class women are thought of as living a grand life free of great responsibilities. While this may be the case at times getting to travel and wearing the latest fashions, sometimes they are more like birds in gilded cages, made to look pretty and forced to sing a tune not of their own making. In The Knight's Tale, Othello, and Le Morte d'Arthur, the authors write about upper-class women either in the sense of being worshipped and obsessed over or as something to be conquered and taken, or both. They use female characters not as characters in of themselves, but rather as plot devices to move the story further, becoming motivations for the much more complex male characters to literally fight over.
While the focus of the literary work Le Morte d'Arthur is for the most part exclusively on the male characters of the story, the female characters have an…… [Read More]
Of the alleged chief tragedies penned by Shakespeare, Othello has led to a certain degree of embarrassment. This 'domestic tragedy' lacks the dynastic and political consequences that characterize Macbeth, Hamlet, and Lear. The protagonist, Othello, behaves like a blockhead. eaders are led into doubting his claims to greatness right from the start. The Bard of Avon is famous for his interest in identity issues. Antagonists may cruelly impose themselves on other characters and assert their self-identity, but sensitive characters require external identity confirmation (ees). Othello's unique rawness stems from the way the playwright has dramatized the normal and ordinary, and exposed such normalcy as intrinsically cruel and horrific. A number of contemporary critics account for Othello's conduct by claiming it arose from the black Othello's insecure feelings in a white racist society. But I personally believe this tale compellingly fights racism (a theory that hypothesizes an essential difference between…… [Read More]
Othello loathes the idea of marriage which makes men believe that they have their wives faithful to them forever and also tricks them into believing that their "appetites" are also saved for their husbands alone. The word appetite here refers to sexual urges and need for love. Othello thinks that by betraying his trust, Desdemona has shown that her need for love was not met by Othello alone and then she needs to satisfy her urges by having an affair.
Othello promises himself that he would rather be a toad living in a dungeon than keep an unfaithful wife which could be used by others. This is indeed a serious charge against innocent Desdemona because she had been very faithful to her husband all along and had it not been for Iago, Othello would have never ever mistrusted her.
But Othello has now started doubting Desdemona to the extent that…… [Read More]
He had sent all the servants for a leave with an excuse that it was carnival time, though his intention was to conceal his action (Rawls 54). He managed to convince Fortunato to put on a cloak so that nobody would recognize him on the way and this was another way of concealing the intended action.
Some of the remarks that Fortunate made on the way hurt Montresor making him to justify and accomplish his mission. At one time Fortunato told Montresor that he does not remember Montresor's court of arms. He tried to illustrate as containing a human foot that crushes a serpent with words such as no one that has impunity that can attack. The illustration and the message was a way of showing that Montresor's family was always on revenge mission. Montresor considered it as an insult and triggered his urge to revenge. On the way, they…… [Read More]
Othello trusts him, so he lets his guard down. This allows Iago to see a weaker Othello and, as a result, shape his own personal image. This creates a conflict in the man that is already feeling out of place Iago simply feeds the fears Othello already has and adds to his disenchantment with a few lies of his own. Through a fairly simple process, Iago changes how Othello perceives himself and Desdemona. In addition, he uses Cassio as nothing but as instrument. He convinces Cassio to fight for reinstatement, knowing this will incite anger in Othello. Iago uses reputations in the play well and completely to his own advantage. e learn from Iago how evil people can be with so little effort and evidence. e also learn how reputations and images can become distorted when we allow ourselves to be consumed with ourselves. Othello watched Desdemona's reputation disintegrate right…… [Read More]
Clown in illiam Shakespeare's The Tragedy Of Othello:
Comic relief and symbolism
The Elizabethan playwright illiam Shakespeare is the author of some of the most famous tragedies every written. The Tragedy of Othello is one of the rawest of all of his works, given that it is a romantic drama that hinges upon one of the most primal emotions of all human beings -- the sensation of jealousy. The jealousy of Iago for the great Moorish general Othello, and Othello's debilitating fear that his young wife Desdemona has been unfaithful is frustrating for the audience to watch, given the unjustified nature of both Iago's and Othello's emotions. However, as he does with all of his dramas, Shakespeare uses humor to provide comic relief during tense situations. This can also be seen in the character of the gravedigger in Hamlet and the use of the Porter in Macbeth. In Othello Shakespeare…… [Read More]
searching for an example that follows Aristotle's principles for creating the perfect tragedy, we need look no further than illiam Shakespeare's play, Othello. According to Aristotle, a tragedy must possess certain characteristics. These include a plot that is easily remembered and structured to arouse pity and fear within the audience. Additionally, Aristotle writes, "Such an effect is best produced when the events come on us by surprise; and the effect is heightened when, at the same time, they follows as cause and effect" (Aristotle VIIII). A great deal of importance is also placed on the action of the plot. According to Aristotle, "A Complex action is one in which the change is accompanied by such Reversal, or by Recognition, or by both" (Aristotle X). These events must "turn upon surprises" (Aristotle XI) in order to fulfill the requirements of a tragedy. Suffering is also essential for a tragic hero to…… [Read More]
Gender becomes a significant player in Othello because it serves as a catalyst for Othello's eventual breakdown. Iago brings the matter of sex into the play during the first scene as well. He is quick to tell Roderigo that he will win the affection of Desdemona - eventually when she suffers disappointment from Othello. Iago and Brabantio establish a perception about women that is unflattering. omen are seen as little more than objects and property - notions that establish male dominance. An example of how women are disparaged early in the play occurs when Desdemona's father experiences difficulty believing that she could ever make a wise decisions regarding marriage. Her elopement, he says, is the result of "spells and medicines bought of mountebanks" (I. iii. 61), obviously employed by Othello. hen mentioning Brabantio and Iago, we cannot overlook the scene where Iago uses the image of the marriage bed to…… [Read More]
Othello" by William Shakespeare, "Oedipus the King" translated by Robert Fagles, and Girl by Jamaica Kincaid. These are dense and rich pieces of writing that have stood the test of time. These works continue to influence and offer insight in the modern moment. These plays and this novel are filled with many themes, motifs, symbols, and other literary techniques. The paper will primarily focus upon themes of jealousy and betrayal, gender and power, vision, and at the heart of it all, fear. The paper will limit the scope of the comparison to the aforementioned themes and mostly primary characters within each. What do these literary texts have in common and what do they teach readers about the human condition?
Jealousy and betrayal are rampant in "Othello." Iago is very jealous of Othello and betrays his trust. He convinces Othello that Desdemona, Othello's fiancee, conducts romantic affairs outside of their relationship.…… [Read More]
Othello, race and difference: Othello as the black 'other'
The tragedy of the Moor Othello is that he becomes the man racist white society says he is by the end of the play. At the beginning of the story, the malicious Iago, who hates Othello for a variety of vague reasons (spanning from his failure to be promoted to his false contention that Othello cuckolded him), spurs Desdemona's father Brabantio into a rage by saying that "an old black ram/Is topping your white ewe" (1.1). This language stresses a crude racist stereotype that the figure of Othello immediately undercuts. Othello explains how he wooed Desdemona with his stories. Desdemona defies her father, who cuts her off for her disobedience. Far from the crude man Iago portrays, Othello seems calm and measured. In his first scenes In fact, the Duke of Venice says: "If virtue no delighted beauty lack/, Your son-in-law…… [Read More]
Othello Is a Tragic Hero
Othello is an Aristotelian tragedy
This paper will show that Othello can be correctly labeled a "tragic hero" and that the play fits the form and function of the Aristotelian tragedy according to the model as it is understood and interpreted by critical scholars.
Defining the tragic hero and the Aristotelian tragedy
The tragic hero is good, valorous, true to life and consistent
The Aristotelian tragedy is complete, an imitation of an action and produces a cathartic effect through fear and pity
Othello is a Tragic Hero
He is Good
The senate loves him because he is strong
Desdemona loves him because he is brave
His men love him because he is a leader
He has Manly Valor
He is viewed as a moral man
He is unafraid of meeting a challenge
c. He is true to life
He has faults and weaknesses
He falls…… [Read More]
eave of Hatred in Othello
The first sign of hatred in Othello is made by Roderigo who says to Iago of the Moor, "Thou toldst me thou didst hold him in thy hate" (1.1.7), though there is never a substantial reason given -- merely excuses (he was passed over for a position, and besides it is rumored that he has cuckolded Iago ... nevertheless, the reasons do not matter -- it is "motiveless malignity" as Coleridge called it (Bradley 228). The second sign of hatred in the play comes from the father of Desdemona, who respects Othello as a general (as do all the Senators), but as a son-in-law, he wants nothing of him. He despises the fact that his daughter has married the Moor without receiving his blessing, and his hatred of their union underscores the obvious tension between their match -- he is an outsider and black; she…… [Read More]
Antony and Cleopatra. Retrieved September 30, 2005 from:
Brown, Lenora Inez. "Enter the Body: omen and Representation on Shakespeare's Stage." American Theatre. May 01, 2001. Retrieved September 30, 2005 from HighBeam Research Library eb site.
Desmet, Christy. "omen's Matters: Politics, Gender, and Nation in Shakespeare's Early History Plays." Comparative Drama. September 22, 2000. Retrieved September 30, 2005 from HighBeam Research Library eb site.
Hunt, Maurice. "Shakespeare's Venetian paradigm: stereotyping and Sadism in The Merchant of Venice and Othello." Papers on Language & Literature. March 22, 2003. Retrieved September 30, 2005 from HighBeam Research Library eb site.
Julius Caesar, The Life and Death of. Retrieved September 30, 2005 from:
Othello, The Moore of Venice. Retrieved September 30, 2005 from:
Starks, Lisa S. "Like the lover's pinch, which hurts and is desired: The Narrative
of Male Masochism and Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra." Literature and Psychology. December 22,…… [Read More]
Iago and Othello are taken from the play Othello penned by Shakespeare, a master at depicting psychological and personality nuances among characters. Othello is the same sort of a play that personifies vengeance more than any other emotion.
There are some fundamental differences between the character profiles of Iago and those of Othello that shall be discussed here. The plot of the play revolves around Othello who is the protagonist in this tale, sharing his limelight with Iago, who has more lines and wrecks more havoc than any other villain in Shakespeare's characters. (Rosenberg)
Othello is the moor who is in love with Desdemona, while Iago is his faithful soldier, who has been as Othello's side for a long time, but was superseded by Cassio, Othello's subsequent choice of an admiral for himself. While this might not have been the only reason of Iago's jealousy, it does add to the…… [Read More]
He complains that his name "is now begrimed and black" (3.3.384) and fears that Desdemona has made him a "fixed figure for the time of scorn" (4.2.53). His fears might be those of any man, insecure in his position, concerned about how he is viewed. Thus, both heroes are true to life in that each has his own particular faults, like any man.
Aristotle's fourth condition of the tragic hero is "consistency: for though the subject of imitation…be inconsistent, still he must be consistently inconsistent" (43). As Aristotle suggests, both characters are inconsistently consistent, though in their own ways. Oedipus bounces from being high-minded, caring and affectionate to being almost simple-minded, careless and angry any time his pride is pricked. For example, even when the evidence all points to the truth of what the priest says, Oedipus is reluctant to admit it; yet when his wife tries to undermine what…… [Read More]
transformation of Othello in Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice proves to be an interesting element that adds depth and complexity to one of history's best plays. Shakespeare keeps us guessing about Othello's true nature by making him appear good in the beginning of the play but allowing us to see his true nature only after he kills Desdemona. This paper will examine how Othello's characteristics seem to change, but in reality, he never changes but simply reveals his true self.
To introduce us to the complexity involved with Othello's character, Othello's reputation is under attack from the beginning of the play is because of Iago's remarks. Because we do not really get a glimpse of Othello until the third act of the play, Shakespeare has created suspense within us concerning Othello. Shakespeare at the same time is creating a sense of dislike within us for the…… [Read More]
A lot of genres throughout history have been tested over time among which 'tragedy' has been the most favorite one. Tragedy reveals a debacle tale of a good or valuable person through misinterpretation and fatal mistakes along with the production of misfortune and awareness on the protagonist's part and arousal of fear and sympathy on the audience's part. Aristotle, an ancient Greek thinker, is considered to have been the key ruling forces of tragedy. 'Poetics,' a masterpiece literature is considered to be the key authority that defines a true misfortune (Aristotle, 1968, pgs 33-35).
A character filled with tragedy must lift the story plot in every tragedy and that hero has to accomplish particular rules to be called a tragic hero. Aristotle presents some rules of a tragic hero which state that the character should not be displayed fleeting through an excellent fortune to a bad one; while…… [Read More]
Spreading the Word of God
Othello, a Brief Analysis
Anyone who has read Othello understands what Shakespeare was attempting to portray as it relates to Christianity. His audience, Christians, desired stories that they could relate to, but also had some form of lesson or message in them as it relates to their faith. Shakespeare himself was raised Christian. Therefore the setting of his stories, like that of Othello, has a Christian setting to help better portray the Christian acts and symbols. The play has many instances and speeches that symbolize and signify something related to Christianity. A good instance of this is when Othello tells Desdemona to pray and Iago when he discusses how he views himself. The Great Commission as expressed in the Bible, deals with the work of disciples and believers of Christianity to spread the faith the message of God. In Othello the word of God is…… [Read More]
Relationship of Love in Shakespeare
Within the writings of Shakespeare there are many great loves. Some of the greatest are also the greatest examples as love for purpose. The love between a man and a women are often the avenue by which intrigue transpires into change. Within this work three great loves will be examined and compared, the first The love between Ferdinand and Miranda in Tempest will act as the starting point from which the other two are compared. The second couple is Queen Margaret and the Duke of Suffolk in Henry VI and the third Desdemona and Othello in Othello. It is through these three couples and the works they are the centers of that the demonstration of love as a tool for plot development and intrigue by Shakespeare will be proven.
The love between Ferdinand and Miranda is the pinnacle of the example of love as a…… [Read More]
Othello's human nature comes through in a number of ways in Shakespeare's play of the same name. Othello is presented in a heroic light but at the same time his faults and failings are more than apparent and become increasingly pronounced as the drama unfolds. First, his willfulness is on display when he elopes with Desdemona, the daughter of a senator without the consent of her father, who he knows would not approve. Second, his jealousy is piqued by Iago, who looks to bring down the Moor and ruin his life. Third, his murderous actions indicate the full extent of his fall from grace and show just how far human nature can go wrong once the slippery slide from reason and the righteous path is deviated from. This paper will examine how Othello's human nature is represented in the play and how Shakespeare's treatment of Othello expresses the author's own…… [Read More]
Beware my lord" -- not of jealousy, but of self-hatred
Othello is often described as a tragic character because he is a great leader and military hero who is brought low by one, fatal personal flaw that he is otherwise unaware of-namely his jealousy. But really it seems as if Iago is the more jealous of the two men, jealous of the Moor's advancement in Venetian society, and of the promotion of Michael Cassio. One of the first things Iago says in the play, in Act 1, Scene 1 to Rodrigo is "hy, there's no remedy; 'tis the curse of service, / Preferment goes by letter and affection, / And not by old gradation, where each second/Stood heir to the first." (1.1) In other words, rather than merit and age, people who are pretty and preferred like Cassio get promoted -- a statement that seethes with jealousy. In contrast to…… [Read More]
Othello as Tragedy
Othello as Tragic Hero
Aristotle defines tragedy as "an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude; in language embellished with each kind of artistic ornament…; in the form of action, not of narrative; through pity and fear effecting the proper purgation of these emotions" (Aristotle, 1970, p. 43). The main points of the definition are found here: tragedy should be cathartic and should be a complete representative of a serious action. Moreover, Aristotle's definition of a tragic hero is that he must be better than the average man in order for his fall to be that much more dramatic and moving. In order for a character to be a tragic hero he must first of all be good, conforming and appropriate to the moral standards of his times, true to life, and consistent. With this in mind, it is fair to…… [Read More]
There is a continuing debate within scholarly circle about the "motiveless malignity" of Iago. (Kolin 214) In other words, a close reading of the play raises the question as to whether evil is spurred by ulterior motives and feelings such as jealously or whether evil is a purely senseless act that is its own motive.
The poet Coleridge was of the view that Iago represents senseless evil in human nature and that his character is a symbol and incarnation of evil itself; hence the famous quote, "The motive-hunting of motiveless Malignity," This refers in particular to Act 1, Scene 3 of Othello in which Iago takes leave of Roderigo. In this soliloquy Iago states that, …. I hate the Moor:
And it is thought abroad, that 'twixt my sheets
He has done my office: I know not if't be true;
ut I, for mere suspicion in that kind,
Will do…… [Read More]
Shakespeare's Othello: Is it a tragedy according to Aristotle?
Aristotle and tragedy
Aristotle defines tragedy as imitation of an action that is serious and has a certain dramatic and complete magnitude. Tragedy to Aristotle is something that is:
"A form of drama exciting the emotions of pity and fear. Its action should be single and complete, presenting a reversal of fortune, involving persons renowned and of superior attainments, and it should be written in poetry embellished with every kind of artistic expression. (Poetics, Part IX)
Aristotle saw tragedy as a simulation of an event that aroused pity and fear in the individual and, by doing so, served as a form of catharsis in the individual could identify with the plot and feel a certain sort of purging or relief (VI.2).
In fact, it is this sense of purging that most distinguishes the tragedy from the comedy or epic (for instance)…… [Read More]
Iago's view of sexual desire contrasted with Othello's
In the play Othello, William Shakespeare is showing the conflict of sexual desire between a man and woman. This is taking place, when Othello (a military commander) marries a woman named Desdemona. However, her father (Roderigo) is upset about this relationship. The reason why, is because he has heard some negative rumors about Othello from Iago (his aide). Iago, was supposed to be promoted to lieutenant, but was passed over by Othello for an inexperienced soldier. This creates a conflict between the two with Othello, by telling Roderigo a number of stories about their relationship. Once this occurs, is when Roderigo will do anything to kill Othello. ("Plot Overview," 2011)
Then, there was news that the Turks have invaded Cyprus and Othello was order to the region (by his superiors). Iago returned to his unit and began to use the…… [Read More]
My story being done,
She gave me for my pains a world of sighs:
She swore, in faith, twas strange, 'twas passing strange,
Twas pitiful, 'twas wondrous pitiful:
She wish'd she had not heard it, yet she wish'd
That heaven had made her such a man: she thank'd me,
And bade me, if I had a friend that loved her, should but teach him how to tell my story.
And that would woo her. Upon this hint I spake:
She loved me for the dangers I had pass'd,
And I loved her that she did pity them.
This only is the witchcraft I have used:
Here comes the lady; let her witness it.
Setting: The inside of the administrative building. Nighttime. Othello is wearing a suit, and is confronted by the school's president, 'Dr. B,' and several members of the administration in their pajamas.
John Othello: Look Dr. B,…… [Read More]
In the context of Othello, this is not such a reassuring notion because Othello and Iago represent the worst that man can be. The reality of this fact allows us to look upon Othello is disgust and with caution. These two men are known by their first names worldwide not because they are nice but because they are the farthest from it. They are human and they are evil and this combination forces us to see humanity, warts and all. Alvin Kernan agrees with this notion adding that when Shakespeare wrote Othello his "knowledge of human nature and his ability to dramatize it in language and action were at their height" (Kernan xxiii). e love Shakespeare because we can relate to his characters - even if they frighten us.
Bloom, Harold. Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human. New York: Riverhead Books. 1998.
Bradley, a.C. Shakespearean Tragedy: Lectures on…… [Read More]
The Tragedy of Pride: Othello and Oedipus
Tragedies most generally focus on a hero that has a tragic flaw or hamartia, which ultimately leads to his downfall. This flaw is something that is innate to the hero and can reflect his background. According to Aristotle, the tragic flaw is the most important part of the hero, and the events which lead up to the hero's downfall are a reflection of that flaw. With Shakespeare's Othello, and Sophocles Oedipus, the common flaw that both men share is their pride. Pride is linked with other powerful emotions, such as jealousy and selfishness, which only lead to a world of pain and loss when combined. Pride becomes the fertile ground in both Oedipus and Othello for the seeds of their destruction and ruin.
Even though these plays were written by men who were born 2000 years apart, the works are similar in…… [Read More]
Rage in Shakespeare
Of all the emotions, rage is one of the most unpredictable and often ends with unexpected consequences. illiam Shakespeare used rage as a major theme is many of his plays because of the unexpected consequences of the emotion. In his play Othello, for instance, rage was used as a tool by which tragedy ultimately occurs. On the other hand, in The Comedy of Errors, Shakespeare used tragedy to invoke a comedic response on the part of the audience. These two plays demonstrate how rage can be used in different ways with different results.
One of the most prominent themes of Shakespeare's Othello is that of rage, it dominated the entire play. It began with the rage of Iago, who has been angered because he had been passed over for a promotion. His rage unleashed a series of events that caused a great deal of destruction, not only…… [Read More]
Bradley describes this by saying that "Othello's nature is all of one piece... Love, if he loves, must be to him the heaven where either he must leave or bear no life. If such a passion as jealousy seizes him, it will swell into a well-night incontrollable flood" (Bradley 188). This shows how Othello goes to the extremes, especially relating to his emotions. Bradley also says that "He is quite free from introspection, and is not given to reflection. Emotion excites his imagination, but it confuses and dulls his intellect" (Bradley 188). This shows that like Hamlet, Othello is not able to consider the source of his emotions. This occurs as a natural part of Othello's character, while for Hamlet it is specifically linked to the particular situation and the particular emotion. However, the end result is the same with both characters unable to consider their emotions and rationalize them.…… [Read More]
Othello by William Shakespeare and the film version of the play directed by Oliver Parker. Specifically it will analyze play from a dramatic and design point-of-view. The film, released in 1995, stars Laurence Fishburne, Irene Jacob, and Oliver Parker. This film is an excellent rendition of Shakespeare's classic play, made even more appealing by the exceptional acting by Laurence Fishburne, who brings a sensual side to the role that is quite effective.
There have been many performances of Shakespeare's play "Othello" on the stage and in film. One of the best is the 1995 version that starred Laurence Fishburne as Othello. His performance made this dramatic play even more memorable and understandable, and truly brought the character of Othello to life. He gave Othello a sensual quality that helped explain Desdemona's attraction to him, and added another dimension to the character. The film also highlighted the racial tension at the…… [Read More]
Diasporic Identities: In Othello and Heart of Darkness
The issue of Diaspora is often associated with only a single culture, that of the Jews who were challenged by the secular and Islamic leaders of their "homeland" to flee for their lives and believe that they are in constant wandering upon the earth. Yet the concept of Diaspora is much broader than that, as individuals and groups often feel disconnected from their homeland both figuratively and really in literature and life. In the two works, Shakespeare's Othello and Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness one can clearly see the literary expression of diasporic identities. This work will argue that each of these works, Othello and Heart of Darkness demonstrates the reality of the challenges one faces when one uproots him or herself from the origin culture and begins to wander the earth without a home and the feeling of security that the…… [Read More]