Othello/ Good vs Evil

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s): 255
  • Published: June 14, 2005
Read full document
Text Preview
Evil and Good in Othello
Life in general is often used as a system of ways to define what kind of person you are by its end. Shakespeare takes that theory into test upon his characters in his work of the famous play Othello. Through the verbal twists and turns along with the addition of color symbolisms, the personalities of Othello, Iago, Desdemona are revealed to their fullest extents, along with their own balance of good and evil within. When this is realized by this famous Shakespearian work, the judgment of good and evil is carried out, and as a result of mass purging of emotions, neither prevails in the resolution. Othello, due to his Moorish nature but at the same time morally white and untainted, can be considered grey with the opening of the play, but possesses the potential to become either the most brilliant white or the darkest black. From the way that he is described by Iago and sometimes Brabantio, he is a dark beast lurking in the shadows, but he is as white as he can be by the Duke. Grey is a color not quite white nor black, hesitation and confusion wavering behind his eyes. This confusion is caused by his naiveté at trusting people too easily, and Iago eagerly takes this weakness to his advantage. So that when Iago manipulates Othello, Othello unknowingly gives in to the temptation, even going as far as telling Iago "I am bound to thee for ever" (III. iii. 242). Othello at this point is completely taken in with Iago's mind poisoning and willingly submits to him, yielding to his trickeries. Inevitably with a little push from Iago, Othello slowly goes down the path of dark and pure blackness, with murder evident in mind. With Iago's tampering of his inner moralities, Othello turns black like a speeding snowball, once Iago set him on the right path. Everything else Othello had done the damage himself; Iago only suggested the notion in the most subtle of ways. Thus he sometimes "breaks out to savage madness" as Iago put it, when being put under such pressure (IV. i. 65). He is so far gone that he even has epileptic fits hearing of Desdemona's infidelity. Othello turned out to be evil when he became so mad that he extended his hands to Desdemona's neck and smothered her to death with a pillow. Only after he kills her he realizes too late that Desdemona is innocent from the start, and has been shining ever since, and only the darkness has clouded his vision and perception of her tempting him to kill her. The fact that he has succumbed to that temptation shows how the good in him has lost its battle to the evil corruptions of Iago, even though he made some futile struggles against them. Othello has given in towards evil because of his weakness and his judgment is heightened by his murder of his wife Desdemona. Even though at the end he seems repentant towards the deeds that he has done, he still lost, and decides to end his sufferings by offering his final defeat -- his life. Even so, evil has not truly prevailed by the end of the play, and is instead overcome by the good that is the Venetian society. Iago holds one true goal in his plotting -- to corrupt Othello so that he will turn against the ones closest to him. But as the play progresses, there also seem to be a power struggle, whereas Iago is jealous of Othello's position and empowering authority and wants Othello out of the way so that he can assume power. Iago is tired of acting like one "courteous and knee-crooking knave" like he always appears to be (I. i. 46). He does not the type of servant that is humble and waits for his master like an obedient mule, and only to be tossed out when he is all weathered and old. No, since Iago is unable to choose to be a master, he is the servant that feeds off the fame and "keep yet their hearts attending on themselves," still showing his service to his master but instead is more self-preserving with no attachments at all towards the master (I. i. 52). Iago chooses to follow someone who is able to be...
tracking img