Othello vs Streetcar Named Desire

Topics: Stanley Kowalski, Stella Kowalski, Blanche DuBois Pages: 5 (1782 words) Published: August 1, 2012
Character Identities in Othello and A Streetcar Named Desire When examining both William Shakespeare's Othello as well as Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, one can not help but notice the stunning array of characters; each with their own and distinct personal identities. From Blanche Dubois in Streetcar to the evil Iago in Othello, personalities run wild and please us all with their similarities, differences, and intertwining complexities. While many of the characters in these particular plays exhibit strong differences in their identities, in comparison to other characters in their respective plays, the identity resemblance of characters from one play to the other is nothing short of astonishing. Moreover, one cannot help but feel that their personal identity correspond with those of the characters in these plays. Blanche Dubois with Iago, Stella Kowalski with Desdemona. Although the dissimilarities of their identities from other characters in their respective plays are unequivocal, when carefully examined in the aforementioned pairs, striking similarities tend to emerge.

A Streetcar Named Desire's Blanche Dubois has a personality and identity very similar to that of Iago in Shakespeare's Othello. Blanche's character is one of ambition, hopes, dreams, and goals. Nonetheless, it was also one of lies, deception, and eventual tragedy. Correspondingly, Iago's personality also displays characteristics of deception, manipulation, and lies while at the same time, also being filled with ambition and goal setting. Throughout A Streetcar Named Desire Blanche demonstrates to us just how ambitious she is and how much she is looking forward to the future. She has dreams of, one day, starting up a flower shop with her sister Stella or running away to live a wonderful life with her friend, the opulent Shep Huntleigh. She completely ignores the wants and feelings of those surrounding her and aims at achieving only the things that are beneficial to her. Blanche demonstrates, throughout the play, that her goals tend to cloud her judgment, making her egocentric qualities apparent for to all to see. Similarly, Shakespeare's Iago, also has dreams and ambitions about, one day, becoming Othello's Lieutenant as well as becoming successful and wealthy. Iago makes evident to us, throughout the play, that he will stop at nothing to get what he wants and, that his need for self-fulfillment, must be satisfied at all costs. Blanche and Iago also share deceitful elements to their identities which, in turn, allow them to get whatever it is that they long for. For example, Iago deceives everyone around him and cozens them into thinking that he is an honest and caring man when, really inside, he is an evil and cynical one. Blanche's lies and deception also center on her want to attain success. Throughout the course of A Streetcar Named Desire, Blanche puts on an elaborate act for her sister Stella and her sister's husband Stanley Kowalski. By not telling them about the loss of the family estate in Laurel Mississippi and about her evident psychological problems, Blanche also tried to maintain a good and honest reputation but, at the end, similarly to Iago, she failed to do so. Aside from the obvious parallelism of Blanche's and Iago's identities, these two characters sustain identities containing several elements of characteristic uniqueness.

A Streetcar Named Desire's Blanche Dubois as well as Othello's Iago have certain elements contained within their personal identities which make them most unique. While Iago is a direct and physical man, Blanche is a delicate flower, in a sense. Iago is a violent man. Unlike Blanche who is like a fragile and delicate moth, harmless to all, Iago is a violent, strong in his ways type of man. Although Blanche exhibits the same aspirations for success, as does Iago, she never resolves to violence or to bringing others down in order to attain this success. As mentioned, she does not really care a great...
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