In the light of your critical study, does this statement resonate with your own response to the play?
In your response make detailed reference to the play.
William Shakespeare’s revenge tragedy Othello relies heavily on the dramatic treatment of both revenge and jealousy, and it is these human emotions that drives the story forward and to its climax. Through these feelings, the audience is made aware of the difference between appearance and reality, especially with the Machiavellian villain Iago. The audience is also entertained with the struggle between reason and passion. Both these notions ultimately leads to the demise of our protagonist and tragic hero Othello.
Jealousy and revenge play a major role in Shakespeare’s examination of the struggle between reason and passion. The setting of the play goes from Venice, a place of order and calm, to Cyprus, a place of war and chaos. The change mirrors Othello’s personal change as he transforms from a person of reason and calm in the first two acts, to a person who is so consumed by jealousy that he lets his passion take over. It is this jealousy, Othello’s fatal flaw, that leads him to eventually exact his revenge on Desdemona. The contrasting characters of the Duke and Brabantio represent this struggle in that the Duke is a person of reason and is willing to listen to Othello. He asks Othello ‘what in your own part can you say to this?’ Brabantio on the other hand is so full of passion wanting to exact his revenge on Othello for marrying his daughter that he cannot see clearly or think properly, believing that ‘treason of the blood’ has occurred, and that he has been betrayed. Othello vowing that he would kill Desdemona to Iago shows that he is no longer a rational thinker and that his fatal flaw of jealousy has taken over. The stage direction ‘he kneels’ in the central scene of the play, Act 3 Scene... [continues]
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