21 Jul 2010

Sample Essay: Drama Research Essay on Othello

The basic reason behind William Shakespeare starting to write Tragedy stories is due to the reason that he felt that the various other tragic plots that were being used by other English writers of his time lacked imaginative foundation and composition. The most important focus of all of Shakespeare’s tragedies was the fall of a prominent person of his story. Additional attractions of his plays used to be Suspense and climax. His effort was amazing as it was not of the customary for the time of his existence. Anybody with just very little knowledge about the writings of Shakespeare would be familiar with one of the tragedies as a Shakespearean work.

The four most outstanding and renowned tragedies that were written by William Shakespeare are King Lear, Hamlet, Othello, and Macbeth.  The word ‘tragedy’ and its derivation are considered to be uncertain even today. “The word has been said to be derived from two Greek words – tragos (goat) and oide (song) (RSC – Royal Shakespeare Company). ” All of the tragic works written by William Shakespeare have a upsetting primary actor, or ‘protagonist’ who is in due course put into a absurdity or incompatible situation that is likely to be solved by the same character –  the hero.  A mixture of bad luck and misjudgment in due course results in the bereavement of the hero of the play.

Othello – as already mentioned above is one of the four outstanding tragic works of William Shakespeare that was written by him in the year 1602.  This famous tragedy of Shakespeare predominantly focuses on the death of Othello, the protagonist and all other important characters of the play as a result of jealousy.  All of the actions of the characters of the play are motivated by this single aspect of jealousy and hence the same is very prominent in the play.  Iago and Othello are the two main characters that portray Jealousy in the play Othello.  Jealousy is the one that completely corrupts Iago and consequently makes him to display his actuality.  This in turn causes Othello to go through an utter transformation in his own self and thereby leads to the destruction of all of his friends’ lives.

It has been said that catastrophe decontaminates the fondness and warmth by panic and sympathy. That is, it replaces imaginary compassion for sheer egoism and self-centeredness. It offers a soaring and enduring interest, beyond one’s self, in kindness as such. Tragedy is believed to raise the immense, the inaccessible and the potential to fairness with the genuine, the modest and the proximity.  Tragedy is also believed to suppress and mitigate the perseverance of the will power of a man.  Even though Iago has a repute of being “full of love and honesty” (III, iii, 138), he is the one who is accountable for obliterating many lives and is viewed as an individual who “perhaps one of the most villainous characters in all literature” (Godfrey).  Iago’s jealous is pretty evident as early as in the start of the play itself.  Specifically, in Act I of the play, Iago sets the tenor for the irrational effect jealously has on the characters of the play. Although Iago is not very sure that Othello is culpable of cuckolding him, his distrust “Will do as if for surety (1.3.371)” (Curtis).  It is, nevertheless, Othello’s intense jealous behavior that encompasses a central theme of the play. Othello is center of supremacy, and his behavior and implement of free will has the most insightful effect on everybody. Iago, who is considered as the master manipulator, uses Othello’s authoritative diffidence and jealousy as a means to instantaneously change Othello’s discernment of Desdemona.

Othello- an outstanding tragic piece of William Shakespeare is one of a kind tragedy that enlivens one’s compassion and consideration in astonishing manner.  The ethical aspects that Othello conveys have a closer relevance to the apprehensions of human life than that of any other works written by Shakespeare. If the other tragedies of Shakespeare are observed, each one of them portrays and conveys different aspects of morality.  The themes in King Lear and Macbeth contrast in the way that the pathos as portrayed in the play Lear are more dominant and are actually not so natural, however, they lack the consideration and compassion as observed in Macbeth.  In the same way Hamlet is more secluded and impulse.  In the same way, if Othello is observed it is more thoughtful, philosophical and heartwarming.

Interestingly, the term ‘Jealous’ apparently is appeared for about 21 times in the entire play of Othello.  Specifically, it becomes a common term that is used in the dialogues of Othello, Desdemona, Iago, Casio and Emilia.  Furthermore, Emilia and Iago are the two characters who have a pivotal role in this tragic play and they seemed to have apparently used the term of ‘jealousy’ almost seven times individually.   All through the play, Othello has been portrayed as an extremely strong character and he seems to be very proud of every single action of him. The control is not only of authority but of the sagacity of him being an excellent soldier.  In Act I, Othello has a brawl with Brabantio, who actually comes to kill him, but even before he attempts to attack Othello, Othello said, “Hold your hands, both of you of my inclining and the rest.  Were it my cue to fight, I should have known it without a prompter” (I, ii, lines 80-3) (Field of Themes).” The power displayed in this scene by Othello is quite amazing.

The crucial struggle that the character of Othello faces in the play is trying to recognize the truth to believe in. Othello’s own self sympathy and qualms of others allows Iago to even make Othello rethink and doubt the truth told by his wife. “This struggle within himself shows the weakness of Othello. It shows how his own doubts and questions of how is view allowed for evil and deception to easily overrun his mind. The actor must understand that this is not because Othello is slow or easily influenced, but rather partly worn and broken by his isolation from his own town. Iago is able to awaken these feelings of rejection and confusion that feed the feelings of evil and betrayal. By this it is how Othello grows able to murder his own wife. His mind is clouded and overwhelmed with years of feelings building up until the seal is broken by a wise and malevolent plot (Ross).”

The power and command over any situation that Othello has is one his strongest distinctiveness.  All through the entire first act, it can be observed that Othello is portrayed as a man with extensive power and an innate leadership. However, it would be difficult for anybody to believe such a man change all of a sudden (Field of Themes).  This change in Othello is evident from the scene when Lodovico notices Othello hitting Desdemona. As already mentioned above, the most significant of all the various themes of this play are the risks of love transforming into jealousy and the consequences of one getting his revenge.  The results of these themes are that a man trusts another man rather than his own wife, and that four persons are killed and two marriages damaged totally.  This play clearly portrays how letting emotion rule the body and mind instead of rational thought doing the same can eventually result in destruction. While most of the people may not believe that their individual actions can have such massive repercussions, as rightly said, the path to hell is paved with noble intentions. “Shakespeare intends to warn people of the dangers of acting without thought; to bring people aware of who is around them and what ulterior motives they may have when you take their counsel; and to show that every small move you make impacts the world around you to no end (Griffin).”

Othello continued to be very famous right through the 18th and 19th centuries, and numerous of the most radiant actors of that time sought after the role of the Moor, as Othello was called by many Venetians.  Othello, undoubtedly, is a most famous and one of the best tragedies written by Shakespeare. It is actually about love that transforms to be bad as a result of jealousy.  Shakespeare builds an influential drama of a marriage that originates with attraction amid the unusual Moor Othello and a fair Venetian lady named Desdemona, with elopement, and with strong mutual loyalty and that eventually ends impulsively with jealousy, anger and brutal deaths.

Works Cited

Curtis, Jerry. Jealousy: A Major Theme of Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’. 2009. 14 December 2009 <http://www.helium.com/items/100575-jealousy-a-major-theme-in-shakespeares-othello>.

Field of Themes. Character Analysis. 02 November 2009 <http://www.field-of-themes.com/shakespeare/essays/Eothello3.htm>.

Godfrey, D. R. Analysis of Shakespeare’s Othello. n.d.

Griffin, Alice. Themes in Shakespeare’s Othello. 03 July 2009. 14 December 2009 <http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1902208/themes_in_shakespeares_othello.html>.

Ross, Jake. Analysis of Othello. 2009. 02 November 2009 <http://ezinearticles.com/?Analysis-of-Othello&id=148684>.

RSC – Royal Shakespeare Company. Macbeth. 02 June 2009 <http://www.rsc.org.uk/macbeth/tragedy/tragedies.html>.

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