Speech On Othello Essay, Research Paper
1) Othello is by far the most romantic figure among Shakespeare’s heroes.
a) He is so separated from the strange life of war and adventure that he has lived from childhood.
b) He is not a merely romantic figure; his own nature is romantic.
2) From what I have read about him, I will now talk about his introduction to us in the play, his nature, and his downfall.
1) He comes before us, dark and grand, with a light upon him from the sun where he was born.
a) No longer young, he is now serious, self-controlled, and steeled by the experience of countless dangers and hardships.
i) He is a naturally humble great man, yet fully conscious of his worth.
ii) He is proud of his services to the state apparently against all dangers from outside and all revolts from inside.
b) His mind, despite all its poetry, is very simple.
i) He is not observant.
ii) His nature tends outward.
(1) He is quite free from introspection, and is not given to reflection.
(2) Emotion excites his imagination, but it confuses and blurs his intellect.
(3) He has little experience of the corrupt products of civilized life, and is ignorant of Venetian women.
iii) In spite of his dignity and exceptional calmness, he is by nature full of the most intense passion.
iv) This and other aspects of his character are best presented by a single line of Shakespeare.
(1) ?Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them.?
(2) These are the words by which Othello in a moment silences the brawl between his attendants and those of Brabantio.
2) Othello’s nature is all of one piece.
a) His trust, where he trusts, is absolute.
i) Hesitation is almost impossible to him.
ii) He is extremely self-reliant, and decides and acts immediately.
iii) If stirred to anger, he answers with one lightning stroke.
b) Love, if he loves, must be to him the heaven where either he must leave or bear no life.
i) If an emotion such as jealousy takes hold of him, it will grow into an incontrollable flood.
(1) He will demand immediate conviction or immediate relief.
(a) If convinced, he will act with the power of a judge and the speed of a man in mortal pain.
(b) If undeceived, he will even execute himself.
3) In the Fourth Act, Othello is in his fall.
a) His fall is never complete, but he is much changed.
i) He becomes at times quite terrible, but his greatness remains almost unchanged.
b) A thirst for revenge competing with motions of longing and regret conquers him.
i) His self-control has wholly deserted him, and he strikes his wife.
c) However, before the end, there is a change again.
i) The supposed death of Cassio satisfies the thirst for revenge in Othello.
ii) His anger has passed, and a boundless sorrow has taken its place.
iii) His feelings give way to righteous anger.
d) Although the scene of him killing Desdemona is terribly painful, there is almost nothing there to lessen the admiration and love that heighten pity.
i) Finally, after the passing away of Desdemona, pity itself disappears, and love and admiration alone remain.
ii) Chaos has come and gone; and the Othello of the chamber has returned, now only greater and nobler.
1) As he speaks his final words in which all the glory and agony of his life seem to pass before us, a proud dislike for the littleness of all the lives that must survive him sweeps our grief away.
2) When he dies, the most painful of all tragedies leaves us for the moment free from pain, rejoicing in the power of love and man’s unconquerable mind.