The Tragedy of Othello - Focus on Act III Scene iii
Shakespearian tragedy explores the notion that humans are “inevitably doomed through their own failures or errors”. In the Tragedy of Othello, the central motif of jealousy and mistrust are the weaknesses that cause the inevitable destruction of the hero. Othello’s feelings of worthlessness as a “Moor” despite his rank and Desdemona’s love are heightened and masterfully exploited by Iago. Ironically, jealously over misplaced trust ignites Iago’s betrayal and ultimately delivers the tragic ending as Iago provokes such feelings in Othello, cunningly urging Othello to question his own judgement and betray his own goodness. The Venice of Othello mirrors Shakespeare’s biased London as his protagonist suffers blatant prejudice. Racist language “sooty bossom,” and animal imagery “old black ram,” depict the “Moor” as less human, Bravely, Shakespeare presents the first sympathetic portrayal of a black man in English literature, challenging audiences to re evaluate accepted Elizabethan prejudice. The poet presents the irony of an esteemed general who cannot be trusted with Venice’s daughters but is instrumental in ensuring the State’s safety. He is an alien; isolated from the world he is married to and protects. Othello internalises the prejudice, viewing himself as a “horned man,” his sense of worthlessness grows and is harnessed by Iago. Act III Scene 3, delivers the pivotal point where Othello abandons all reason and is swayed by Iago’s absolute yet false loyalty in his disclosure of Desdemona’s alleged betrayal. His “loyalty” is given form through the stage directions where he kneels alongside his commander in union. Although Iago warns against “ the green eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on,” he speaks of his own actions towards Othello. Shakespeare cleverly uses these words to share the irony and great divide between words and action. The villain takes on a diplomatic role, constantly using...
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