The True Nature of Obsession (Othello, Endless Love and Damoyre)
Topics: Othello, Iago, Jealousy, William Shakespeare / Pages: 7 (1621 words) / Published: Oct 14th, 2010

The true nature of obsession manipulates a person’s character, forcing them to act in unusual ways, as if possessed by an involuntary need. An obsessed mind becomes intensely absorbed in the subject of the obsession to an extent that drives away the truth and realism in their values, morals and perceptions. William Shakespeare manifests this idea of an involuntary change in character in the play “Othello”, and with a similar approach this idea is identified by Scott Spencer in the novel “Endless Love” and is further explored in “Obsession”, a poem written by DaMoyre. Throughout each of these texts, the composers’ use of characterization depicts the true nature of obsession with themes of jealously, revenge and, as a consequence, madness.

Amidst the pursuit of an obsession, a person can lose their perception of truth and reality, becoming ignorant and easily persuaded. This fault in character leads a person to the captivating and consuming world of jealously. Shakespeare pursues this idea in his characterization of both Othello and Iago. In the inauguration of the text “Othello”, Othello’s character is conveyed as strong willed and undefeatable, however due to his intense and passionate love for his new wife, Desdemona, Othello’s strength is weakened and he becomes easily persuaded with “honest, honest” Iago’s lies. Due to his obsessive state of mind and the true nature of obsession, Othello’s character becomes weak and malleable, with the assistance of his trusted companion, the deceiving Iago. Othello himself recognizes the jealousy that has arisen and describes it as “ jealousy so strong/ that judgment cannot cure”. This statement highlights Othello’s lose of control over his own perceptions.
Whilst the true nature of obsession can captivate and control the temperament of a person’s character with negative features of jealousy including ignorance, vanity, naivety and vulnerability there are also positive aspects of obsession driven jealousy. Scott Spencer

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