Humans are in a constant battle for power. To what extent is this true?
The struggle for power is a fundamental part of the human experience. Throughout life individuals are continuously reassessing their position and authority with those around them, and their situation or surroundings. Despite the significance of these external factors in both Shakespeare’s play, Othello and Browning’s poem Porphyria’s Lover, the most essential site of power is the human mind. Both texts depict the power that emotions such as love and jealousy have in changing individuals and affecting their experiences and behaviour. Both texts propose that the struggle for power plays a vital role in causing individuals to experience strong emotions such as love and jealousy.
Jealousy is a powerful emotion which can overwhelm an individual and alter their state of mind. In the play Othello the protagonists tragic flaw is the way the yields to jealousy, changing from a pragmatic and well liked army general to an irrational individual who is unable to control his actions when overcome by powerful emotions. It is Iago who provokes jealousy in Othello by casting doubts upon Desdemona’s fidelity. Although the audience is aware that Othello is being manipulated by Iago for his own selfish reasons Iago ironically warns Othello to beware of jealousy as “it is the green eyed monster that doth mock the meat it feed on”. Shakespeare’s use of metaphor demonstrates how easily jealousy can overcome an individual and torment them like a monster. Once Iago has put the doubt of Desdemona’s fidelity into Othello’s mind, Othello in his dialogue implies he is in a state of being tormented as he uses the metaphor verifying that Iago has “put him on the rack.” Continuing on through the play, Othello’s respectable tone begins to break down as he is disturbed by the thought of his wives infidelity. Whilst Othello confronts Desdemona he repeats the phrase with exclamation “the handkerchief!” this highlights...
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