From Man to Monster
When monsters are thought of a very distinct picture comes to mind. An ugly creature that is out for blood, born into a life where causing misery is his driving force. Do these features really define what a monster is; works of literature like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Shakespeare’s Othello tell quite a different story. Monsters are not born but made just as people are not born evil but can sometimes end up there. Othello and the Monster start of as good men looking to be part of society but were pushed out because of what others perceived them to be. This caused them to mentally and physically isolate themselves from everyone allowing hatred to take over. Iago and Frankenstein also helped to instill thoughts and emotions in these characters that ultimately changed their path from good to evil. Both the characters of Othello and the Monster transform into monstrous beings due to their desire to be accepted, isolation, and relationship with their antagonists.
Othello and the Monster were constantly ridiculed by other character based on their “other” persona. Othello as a black man with such a high military position was very rare if not unheard of. Even with position he was seen as the stereo typical black male, less than human and wicked. Iago made his thoughts on Othello known, though not as himself when telling Brabantio of Othello and Desdemona’s elopement, “Your daughter/And the moor are now making the beats with two backs” (Shakespeare, I, i, 116-117). Othello is made out to be an animal based on the colour of his skin and lies that others chose to believe. As he is subjected to these stereotypes he begins to become them. These ideas of a wicked, animalistic, less than human don’t seem so far off by the end of the play. Likewise stereotypes have a large impact on the Monster transformation from a harmless creation to what is society deems a monster. Based on his appearance the characters in the story see this creation as a “Devil” as well as a “vile insect” (Shelley, 77). He is painted as a being from the depth of hell and a evil creature. Like Othello the Monster begins to become less tolerant to the hatred of others backlash and instead of taking the higher road proves Victor right. These stereotypes play on the insecurities of the character and push them closer towards evil.
Being constantly put into a mould takes quite a toll on person emotions and can cause insecurity. The more negative experiences and comments that are heard the more truthful they become. Throughout the beginning Othello we see Othello as a strong confident man, but as Iago’s lies begin to take over he falls apart. He gives one final speech before killing himself out of the guilt for the murder of Desdemona and in it he reveals that he is aware of his wrongs. “Speak of me as i am” (Shakespeare, V, ii, 338), he remarks as a last attempt for understanding. He talks of how jealousy and revenge has corrupted his mind and turn him into the monster he now is. It is quite evident that Othello has lost himself, he is shaken by what he has done and what he has become. He is no longer the confident leader he once was but instead a broken man. Additionally, we see insecurities take over the heart of the Monster. Being made of many men he is a gruesome looking creature with abnormal stature and proportions. Though he learns the way of natural born humans he is still seen as an outsider. He is very aware off his revolting outer appearance and is ashamed of it, “My person was hideous, and my stature gigantic: what did this mean? Who was I? What was I? Whence did I come? What was my destination? These questions continually recurred but i was unable to solve them” (Shelley, 104). He tries to overcome this obstacle but humanity cannot see past his exterior and this causes him to become livid, letting his insecurities send him down a path to monstrosity. This path is one that each character walked alone, and this isolation also...
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