Othello Essay, Research Paper
William Shakespeare?s Othello tells the tale of one man on the top of his game shot down by his own jealousy. It takes place in 16th century Italy, right around the time of the failed Turkish invasion. Othello starts out as a superb military officer in the Italian military, but through the love of a woman, he is brought to an untimely demise. The story is actually a play and it is not known if Shakespeare ever knew these plays were to be read. The story is told by the characters in the play. Othello falls madly in love with Desdemona, a beautiful lady whose father is part of the aristocracy. His love is meet with lots of resentment from other characters for whatever reason. Othello then gets really jealous of Desdemona and winds up killing himself for it.
The play is fascinating for its use of the mysterious character Iago, Othello?s foil. He represents the evil in this story. Although most of his past is unknown, his intentions for Othello are quite clear. ?I follow him to serve my turn upon him? is included in one of the first speeches he makes against Othello. So right of the bat, you know that he is plotting and scheming behind his back. This is also supported in the dialogue in his soliloquy in Act 2 Scene 3 line 326 when Iago outlines his whole plot His reasons for this are unclear. Shakespeare gives a few reasons why, but since the story begins in the middle of his plot, its remains mysterious.. As the play progresses, his character is developed through his actions and dialogue. He presents himself as a nice guy to everyone, save his own wife and leads to his demise. By playing both sides of the field, its shown he has no loyalties save for himself. Although for a brief moment, it seems that he is in love with Desdemona but when he kills Roderigo just to protect his plan, it becomes quite clear he is delusional and is fixed upon the destruction of Othello. In the soliloquy discussed above, he also convinces himself that he is not at fault and that is a sure sign of disillusionment from reality. Overall, he is a classic example of a truly evil and complex character.
Another very important element in this play is theme jealousy. Iago is jealous of Othello, Othello is jealous of Cassio, this play is dripping with the green-eyed monster. Othello is also deluded into believing Cassio is shaking it up, for lack of a better term, with Desdemona. His whole theory of her cheating is built on hearsay and vague evidence, hence the handkerchief. Jealousy leads all the characters in the story to find out there fatal flaws in the end. The message Shakespeare is trying to communicate is that the destruction of love, self and life can be found through jealousy. It is human nature to be jealous. However in this play, jealousy seems to consume the charters. This is supported by the fact that they all killed each other or got arrested in the end.
Aside from the elements of the story, Skakespeare’s use of language throughout the play is stupendous, and that term hardly does anything justice. At first, his writing is hard to understand, but after a few hours, his words flow like something that flows really well, like water. His dialogue conveys every emotion and feeling with absolute beauty. His metaphors and meanings are just so fascinating. He uses lots but some of his best are when he relates jealously to a ?green-eyed monster, which doth mock the meat it feeds on?. Its those little things he uses that make the play that extra bit better than other writers.
Othello is the story of one tragic hero and his own jealousy. It is a sad story of one man who makes a really big mistake, and realizes it. Shakespeare?s look into human nature is an interesting insight into ourselves. Its well written and just plain good, suitable for anyone interested in life itself. (Kinda cryptic I know)