Mind and Iago

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Robert Browning’s ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ and William Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’ both incorporate contrasting elements, like that of good and evil, love and hate and one that is wholly caused by the destructive nature of men, murder. Porphyria’s Lover is that of the division in society as well as social outcasts, the Lover who is seen to be shunned from society lives a very solitary life. Porphyria, the woman he loves, is of a higher social status and through the poem is observed to be in control of her Lover, his thoughts and his emotions. However, he feels that she is engulfed by the luxury that society provides and wants her to be with him, forever. Yet, knowing that she will leave him soon again, he kills her unexpectedly. After the murder takes place, the Lover has no remorse, aware that they will be together forever. Nevertheless, Othello, a military leader is manipulated by Iago, a most trustworthy friend. Their relationship is increased by Iago’s suspicions of the affair of Desdemona, Othello’s wife, as he advises Othello about what to do. His destructive nature leads him to committing murder, not long after when he realised what he had done, Othello took his own life. Both extracts convey the idea of disturbed minds, which in many cases ultimately leads to murder. Disturbed minds can be portrayed in many different ways, as both authors have presented. The Lover being social outcast mentally affected from the beginning of the poem, whereas Othello goes through stages, first of jealousy and insecurity, to that of anger and rage, seemingly bent on pursuing revenge. When Iago stats to plant doubt into the mind of Othello, his character drastically changes and is varied throughout the play. Othello’s jealousy occurs when he hears from Iago that his wife, Desdemona and Cassio are having an affair, this affects his mindset so much so that he begins to doubt her and loses trust in her, thus strengthening his friendship with Iago. Yet, this carries on when Iago...
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