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Is Othello a Man of Honor Infected with Psychological Imperfection - Essay Example

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Name: Course: Tutor: Date: Shakespeare’s Othello: A Man of Honor, but Infected with Psychological Imperfection In Shakespeare’s play, the protagonist Othello is a man of honor rather molded with psychological imperfections like obsession and jealousy than being a man violent in nature…
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Is Othello a Man of Honor Infected with Psychological Imperfection
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"Is Othello a Man of Honor Infected with Psychological Imperfection"

Download file to see previous pages A former black slave, Othello, is rather hailed and appreciated by the society -which is supposed to enslave him- because of his military prowess. In a racially segregated society, he rises at the height of celebrated influence and takes the daughter of a socially established member as his wife. Keeping aside his past, he looks forwards and endeavors to be accepted by the society on his military prowess and credits. Yet in the clandestine corner of his mind, he feels insecure and remains isolated and alien in the society which he does not belong to racially. This very isolation of Othello in the society is vividly depicted in his own words in the last scene of the play. While killing himself, once he repeats how he killed a Turk with martial prowess: “Set you down this, / And say besides that in Aleppo once, / Where a malignant and a turbaned Turk / Beat a Venetian and traduced the state, / I took by th’ throat the circumcised dog / And smote him thus”. (Shakespeare V.ii.341-354) At the same time, by comparing his self-killing with the killing of a Turk, he powerfully articulates the fact that he will forever remain an outsider and an alien to the society. Deep down in the heart, he suffers from a type of inferiority complex which, on one hand, blindfolds him from Desdemona’s virtue and purity, and on the other hand, keeps him obsessed with the fear of being deserted by his love, Desdemona, a symbolic platform of passion and status in the society. Just like his suspicion for the society, his fear of being deserted by his love pushes to the verge of insanity. His bluster and pride rather fuel his obsession and fear. In spite of his love for Desdemona, he cannot believe that his wife, that paragon of virtue and purity, could have settled for him. Such a man’s love for his wife is necessarily entailed with his continual fear of being rejected and deceived by his society as well as his wife. Iago manipulates this very weakness and psychological imperfections of Othello. Indeed in the play Iago’s Machiavellian presence is not the root but the crucial cause of Othello’s insanity. He is more of a trigger of the event than the sole reason of Othello’s insane-like condition. He plays on the protagonist’s insecurities and “trigger off an engulfing suspicion and jealousy of his wife's supposed infidelity, which culminates in him murdering her” (Hamlin 34). Whereas the psychological imperfections lie in Othello’s circumstance-driven psychic mould, it has successfully been played on by Iago. Throughout the whole play, Othello remains calm, polite and respectful. He is neither rude nor offensive to Desdemona's father, Brabantio. Even being brave General his self-control is praiseworthy. When Iago tries to instigate a brawl by informing Othello of Brabantio’s armored arrival to his court, he remained calm and responds in the following manner: “Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them. / Good signior, you shall more command with years / Than with your weapons.” (Shakespeare I.ii.59-61). He shows the highest revere to Brabantio. He assures him that he is respectful because of his age. Othello is never a violent man by nature. If he were, he would behave otherwise, in other words, violently. Even in the face of Branbantio’s racial insult, Othello retains his decency: “If she wasn’t bound in chains of magic, / Would a maid so tender, beautiful, and happy, / So opposed to marriage that she shunned / The wealthy, curled ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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