Othello Essay - Character's and Their Obesessions

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Many characters in Shakespeare’s Othello become obsessed with the current state of a relationship. These obsessions then eventually lead the characters to failure when the obsessions become a goal, instead of something that occupies their mind. The transitions from an obsession to a goal can be seen through the actions of Othello, Iago, and Desdemona. Othello’s path to obsession begins with Iago planting seeds of doubt into his mind, which convinces Othello that Desdemona is being unfaithful. He says to himself, “She is gone. I am abused, and my relief/Must be to loathe her” (3.3.283-84), and later claims that he “will withdraw/To furnish [him] with some swift means of death/For [Desdemona]” (3.3.492-94). These lines reveal that although there has not been any solid proof, Othello’s mind is already constantly occupied by the mere possibility of Desdemona being unfaithful to him. His obsession finally becomes clear when he says “In the due reverence of a sacred vow/I here engage my words,” (3.3.470-71). This line reveals that he is set on getting revenge for being betrayed and thus, has become a goal. It is his goal to get revenge so even when Desdemona after insists that she has done nothing wrong, Othello tells her to “confess thee freely of thy sin” (5.2.61) and that even if she denies it all, it will not change his mind, as he makes clear by telling her “Thou art to die” (5.2.65). Othello’s refusal to listen to Desdemona is what leads to his failure, for it was his goal to kill her no matter what she said and only after she is dead does he learn that she was actually innocent. Ironically, it is primarily how Desdemona behave towards Othello that makes him doubt her. After Cassio lost his position as lieutenant, Desdemona accepted the task of trying to convince Othello to forgive Cassio. The start of her obsession of getting Cassio’s job back is when Desdemona says herself that “My lord shall never rest,/I’ll watch him tame and talk him out of patience”...
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