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For Othello - Research Paper Example

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# & Reference # 1140 words Date Othello’s Tragedy Tragedy makes people realize human nature and makes possible to equate the great to the ordinary. It exposes the human heart and makes people realize that even the big and mighty are afflicted with the same emotions affecting every human being…
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Research Paper for Othello
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"For Othello"

Download file to see previous pages Jealousy, that is roused by suspicion and wounded pride, which could be reactions to prejudice, makes Othello the most celebrated text that explores the powers of these debilitating factors even over someone who is considered a hero (Collie 88-9). Shakespeare’s Othello is one of the earliest texts that depict racism against blacks (Iyasere, Iyasere, and Little 326). Normally, especially during Shakespearian days, the whites are the natural protagonists while the blacks are usually portrayed as antagonists. This depiction of a hero is unusual because Othello is shown as troubled with bitterness, delusions, and self-importance (Vaughn 180). He is a dignified, brilliant, heroic, and important figure in the Venetian army, yet despite this prominent status, his own insecurities make him prey to the selfish motives of Iago, the play’s villain (Jacobsen 502). The tragic part here is that no matter how great his status is, and no matter how admired he is by the people of Venice, the war strategies that make him win several battles do not win for him his battle at home, which ultimately resulted in the tragic end of Othello and his beloved Desdemona. Iago sees Othello’s jealousy for his wife Desdemona and decides to use it to his own advantage. He is able to manipulate Othello easily, even when Iago never once presented strong evidence about Desdemona’s infidelity. In fairness to Othello, the ideas that Iago convinces him of are very likely to happen, therefore, easy to believe (Jacobsen 503-4). However, if he knows his wife Desdemona well, it is also easy to see that these accusations are not only improbable, but ridiculous as well. In a scene in the play, Iago exclaims “Ha! I like not that.” (3.3.33) and “Cassio, my lord? No, sure, I cannot think it, That he would steal away so guilty-like, Seeing you coming.” (3.3.37-9). Here, it is obvious that Iago, lacking any solid proof, tries to plant ideas in Othello’s mind through manipulation. Iago acts like he is unwilling to confess the sordid details of the scene between Desdemona and Cassio, yet all the while uses a suggestive tone and drops hints that Desdemona is having an illicit affair with Cassio. This causes Othello to demand for more details, making it appear that he is dragging information out of Iago, while the truth is that Iago leads him into that trap of suspicion. This skillful manipulation ignites jealousy in Othello that is roused by the suspicion that Iago successfully implants in his head. These suspicions that rouse his jealousy cause constant speculations by different critics. Othello’s self-loathing is one popular idea. For example, making their marriage private instead of public could mean that he does not believe he is good enough for Desdemona (Vaughn 180). Othello is also portrayed as filled with contradicting characteristics. He promotes Cassio (1.1.18-21) but shows more trust to Iago; he kills his wife Desdemona (5.2.137-8) despite professing his overwhelming love and passion for her; he also kills himself (5.2.376-7) instead of facing the consequences of his crime despite being noted for his courage and dignity. His insecurity makes him gullible to Iago’s manipulations. It can be said that even without Iago’s exploitations of his insecurities, Othello would still be susceptible to suspicions one way or another (Vaughn 181). Despites his great accomplishments and elevated status in the society, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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