“Othello”is one of the great tragedy themed plays by William Shakespeare. In the observation of human behavior, Shakespeare noticed that although people respect conventional values much of the time, they sometimes learn to develop techniques that enable them to counteract the effectiveness of the values and laws and drift towards illegitimate behavior. In Act iii, Scene iii is where Shakespeare shows the turning point of Othello through the implementation of Iago’s plot. Othello’s strong demeanour is now shaken as he is seduced by Iago’s lies and claims them as the truth from an honest old friend. According to Van Laan (1978)
Othello’s careful, controlled presentation of himself as meritorious is neither nether play-acting nor discrepant roleplaying, but it is touched by both. His tendency to act his own identity suggests his particular enjoyment of it. By playing his own identity, he evolves the notion of a felt discrepancy, of a felt lack of full equivalence between this identity and himself.The extreme contrast between Othello and Lago also extends to their histrionic activity for where Othello’s play-acting is moderate, perhaps not fully conscious, and designed to preserve. Lago is destructive in intentions, highly calculated and constantly operative whenever he is in the presence of another. Iago whosecredo reads‘Iam not what I am’ and only his soliloquies or under the cover of darkness does he say or do anything not suiting his fictitious role of ‘honest Iago.’ I agree with Van Laan’s interpretation of Othello’s character. Othello does seem to enjoy his entitlement. As seen in the poem, Iago is careful to make note of Othello’s authority and never regarded himself as his equal. This though had blinded him from seeing Iago’s true destructive nature. According to Bradley (1904)
Othello is, in one sense of the word, by far the most romantic figure among Shakespeare’s heroes; and he is so partly from the strange life of war and adventure which he has lived from childhood. He does not belong to our world, and he seems to enter it we know not whence- almost as if from wonderland. There is something mysterious in his descent from men of royal siege. The sources of danger in this character are revealed too clearly by the story. Othello’s mind, for all its poetry, is very simple. He is not observant. His nature tends outwards. He is quite free from introspection, and it not given to reflection. Emotion excites his imagination, but it confuses and dulls his intellect. I disagree with Bradley on ‘Othello’s mind is simple.’ Though Othello is really a stranger to the European way of life and deception, he is only but a man with greater insecurities from being a black man. But as the Shakespeare ‘Hero’ he is aware that is indeed different and would always be different but proudly carries on strong and determined. He doesn’t trust Iago instantly in the poem and he probably never trusted Iago as he didn’t give him the promotion. Iago is skilled with deception and trickery as Othello wasn’t the only one that was tricked by him. To say Othello’s mind is simple to say that everyone else in the play mind is also very simple. Tragedy (tragos, a he-goat and ode, o(i)de, a song, aeido, to sing; because, it is said, a goat was the prize of the early tragic choirs in Athens) is a drama, usually in verse, portraying the struggle of a strong-willed protagonist against fate, as predestined by mysterious, divine, social, or psychological forces culminating in disaster and usually death, caused by a flaw, as envy or ambition, in the protagonist’s character, usually resolved by the protagonist’s belated recognition and acceptance of fate. Aristotle had concluded that although the action of some tragedies could proceed from woe to happiness, the more effective tragedies went in a reverse direction. He believed that tragic heroes should be neither absolutely evil nor absolutely good. The tragic hero should be good but flawed. According to...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document