Othello Essays

Essay About Othello

The central topics that are discussed throughout the tragedy are gender and race, to which Othello exposes limitations and changes of perception during the play. Othello and Desdemona also anticipate utopian values that lead to issues in character relationships that lead to tragic consequences. Throughout this essay I am going to analyze the importance and effects of gender and race in the Early Modern period and finally come to a conclusion if the dominant ideologies are subverted or are they firmly re-established.

Othello´s perception of race in Early Modern times was gradually changing. Being born as a North-African moor and not having previously experienced any racial inferiority, makes it accurate for him to state, “My parts, my title and my perfect soul, / Shall manifest me rightly” (I.ii.31-32). However, due to Iago´s successfully played mind games, that are manifested in order to achieve revenge on him. In addition, Iago believes that men are more significant than women, even more, when it comes to their reliability. He uses it as a weapon against Othello, knowing that if he can make Othello doubt Desdemona´s faithfulness, he is going to win his trust over hers. Othello quite easily becomes influenced by Iago and announces, ¨And yet how nature, erring from itself¨ (III.iii.233). As Iago continues to use his manipulative skills, Othello gets to a point where he doesn´t question his reliability and becomes convinced that Desdemona was unfaithful. Also, Brabantio says to Othello, ¨Run from her garage to the sooty bosom, / Of such a thing as though-to fear, not to delight¨ (I.ii.73-74), leading also other characters to start to judge him for his possible actions, because of his racial inequality. Therefore, Othello begins to feel inferior and identifies himself as someone who is a part of the minority.

However, race inevitably goes hand in hand with gender ideologies. The Early Modern period was a men dominated society, that forbid women to express themselves nor their words were conceivable. It is evident that the majority of men characters consider women as naturally treacherous, as Iago claims, ¨If she be fair and wise, faimess and wit, / The one´s for use, the other useth it¨ (II.i.135). In the tragedy, there are numerous discourses that display men ownership of women. For instance, when Desdemona reveals to her father that she is in love with Othello, Brabantio perceives it as a theft, ‘O thou foul thief, where hast thou stow’d my daughter¨ (I.ii.62).

Being said that, regards Ryan´s statement it would make us agree that Desdemona desires to oppose and fight for the equality by being direct and sincere when she speaks her mind. Since she is genuine and fair, she finds Othello very attractive as he has the power, but at the same time as someone who might be lacking love and understanding from others, which she desires to nourish him with. Nevertheless, Desdemona turns her back to the society and knowing that it will disapprove her marriage, she gets married in secret. Othello from other hand desires loyalty and honesty at its highest and therefore expects this quality to be met in others as he claims, ¨Certain, men should be what they seem¨ (III.iii.134), which makes him to believe Iago´s filthy lies and leads him to disrespect her wife, ¨Was this fair paper, this most goodly book, Made to write ‘whore upon’?¨ (4.2. ll. 70-71). Othello, from another hand, should look at events with a more critical point of view and not so utopian, since he lacks rational thinking when it would be most needed.

Finally, the main ideas and values of the play are mainly subverted as Othello kills himself and his misguided believe makes him justified to kill Desdemona. Within their death also the ideas are not passed forward or couldn´t be re-established, mostly because after Othello kills Desdemona he pleases Gratiano to understand him and see him as someone who loved too much but just wasn´t wise enough, Gratiano responds to it with, ¨All that is spoke is marred¨ (V.ii.374), showing disinterest. As Jonathan Dollimore has said, dissidence may provoke brutal repression, and that shows not that it was all ruse of power to consolidate itself, but that ¨the challenge really was unsettling¨ (Fautlines, Cultural Materialism and the Politics of Dissident Reading, Alan Sinfield, Clarendon press, Oxford).

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Iago: the Main Antagonist

In the play Othello by William Shakespeare, the main antagonist Iago guides the audience through his path of deception to justify his revenge towards Othello. As a result of Iago being humiliated and disenfranchised by Othello, he takes from Othello what he values most; the security he feels in Desdemona’s untainted love and commitment. Iago […]

Pages: 3 Words: 983 Topics: Iago, Othello

Characters in the Play Othello

The play Othello written by Shakespeare in the 1600s takes place in Venice, and Cyprus an island in the Mediterranean Sea. Shakespeare’s tale focuses on love, jealousy, and betrayal. Main characters being; Iago, Othello, Desdemona, Cassio, Bianca, and others. While some of these main characters go through some minor and big changes throughout the play. […]

Pages: 2 Words: 651 Topics: Iago, Othello
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Shakespeare: Obedience and Powerless in Women

In Hamlet and Othello, Shakespeare criticizes the feminine issues that were present in his time, bringing awareness to the standard roles and ideal expectations of women by characterizing them in a space of being obedient and powerless. As women are portrayed as having ideal feminine values such as chastity and passiveness, the frailty of women […]

Pages: 3 Words: 795 Topics: Hamlet, Iago, Othello

Othello: the most Extraordinary Shakespeare’s Character

The play Othello by William Shakespeare was written in 1604 during the Elizabeth era. Othello is one of the most extraordinary characters in all of Shakespeare’s dramas. In the beginning of the play we see Othello as a strong character. His stature, tall, dark, African Moor, combined with his personal charisma. A brave soldier from […]

Pages: 2 Words: 622 Topics: Iago, Othello

Othello and his Actions in the Play

In Shakespeare’s Othello, Othello’s actions can be considered weak as Iago has twisted his mind into believing that his wife is being unfaithful. Iago manipulated Othello into believing that his wife was having an affair with his friend and lieutenant, Cassio. Othello’s love for Desdemona was very strong and became what appears to be his […]

Pages: 4 Words: 1083 Topics: Iago, Othello

My Attitude to Othello and Iago

Iago the antagonist within Othello written by William Shakespeare. I am so engaged with Iago because I want to secretly be like him. To get away with all the destruction he exerts. I get bored of the good guys always succeeding. He embodies both attraction and repulsion. The character of dramatic irony gropes us into […]

Pages: 5 Words: 1509 Topics: Iago, Othello

Reasons of Othello’s Tragedy

Othello’s tragedy is a product of not just Iago, but himself. Though Iago may appear to be the primary cause of Othello’s downfall, based on how manipulative, evil, and deceptive Iago was throughout the story. It can also be said, after having read the story, Othello’s own insecurities were the product of his own self […]

Pages: 4 Words: 1212 Topics: Iago, Othello

Iago and his Betrayal in Othello

Betrayal can be seen and done for many reasons, but often there is no real reason why someone would betray another human being. This is the case in Shakespeare’s Othello, where one of Othello’s most trusted men, Iago betrayed him after being filled with rage and jealousy of not receiving the recognition he solely thought […]

Pages: 2 Words: 605 Topics: Iago, Othello

Transformation of Othello in the Play

Othello Essay From a man with a admiring and worthy nature, Othello is transformed into a frenzied, blathering, and illogical monster. Othello believes and asserts himself to be a man who “loved too much, but who wasn’t wise about it. I was not easily made jealous, but once I was tricked and manipulated, I worked […]

Pages: 2 Words: 533 Topics: Iago, Othello

A True Reason of Othello Demise

The novel Othello is about a General man named Othello and his wife Desdemona, just trying to be a normal couple, but problems occur when Iago starts to stir things up and starts to put lies in Othello’s head. Iago starts to stir things up because Iago wanted to get the rank as lieutenant but […]

Pages: 2 Words: 541 Topics: Iago, Othello

Deaths of Characters in Othello

How many people die on Othello? Knowing Shakespeare, he kills off a majority of his characters. In Othello alone, eighty-five point seven percent of the roles die in the end. Whether killed by a sword or strangled out of jealousy, there were no justified reasonings for the deaths. Emilia, Desdemona, and Othello all fall blind […]

Pages: 3 Words: 973 Topics: Iago, Othello

Othello as an Ideal Representation of the Tragic Hero

William Shakespeare’s Othello is a clear representation of the downfall of a tragic hero. Set in Venice and Cyprus during the 16th century, Othello, a moor, deals with the manipulative actions of a general of the Venetian army, Iago. Due to losing his desired position of being Othello’s lieutenant to another solider Cassio, he plots […]

Pages: 3 Words: 963 Topics: Iago, Jealousy, Othello

Racism and Racial Prejudice in Othello

In the book, Othello, by William Shakespeare, we see a big impact of racism and racial prejudice. Othello shows a lot of this and how it gets in the way by restraining love in society. He is a black man who is also a great and successful war soldier. He dedicates himself to serve society’s […]

Pages: 2 Words: 526 Topics: Iago, Othello, Racism

Was Iago a Real Villain?

The Considering Iago as a “Villain” in  the play Othello, the character Iago plays a main role in the destruction of Othello and all of those around him. People could say that Iago’s actions are simply a scheming liar and that he is a purely evil character. Others say Iago’s talent for understanding and manipulating […]

Pages: 2 Words: 572 Topics: Iago, Othello

Othello as an Aristotelean Tragedy

Legendary playmakers, such as Aristotle and Sophocles, held an influential position in the history of theatrical performances. In creating works like Oedipus the King, such experts seemingly knew how to intertwine human emotion with the actions of the narrative. This prowess eventually adopted by other artists led to the creation of some of the greatest […]

Pages: 3 Words: 997 Topics: Iago, Othello

Role and Character of Iago in Othello

In Othello by William Shakespeare, Iago a power hungry ancient drives the plot through his cruel and manipulative ways. In the play Othello and Desdemona are happily married, Othello gives Cassio a promotion to lieutenant, he chooses Cassio over Iago and gives Iago a more trusted and honorable job. Through manipulation Iago is able to […]

Pages: 3 Words: 786 Topics: Iago, Othello

Description of Othello’s Character

Othello is the main character in the play Othello by William Shakespeare. He is a well-respected African general in the Venice army and is happily married to Desdemona, a white woman. Othello being African already makes him an outsider and highlights racism in Venice. Throughout this play, there are slurs that have been used to […]

Pages: 4 Words: 1148 Topics: Iago, Othello

Women and Feminine Issues in Hamlet and Othello

In Hamlet and Othello, Shakespeare criticizes the feminine issues that were present in his time, bringing awareness to the standard roles and ideal expectations of women by characterizing them in a space of being obedient and powerless. As women are portrayed as having ideal feminine values such as chastity and passiveness, the frailty of women […]

Pages: 2 Words: 551 Topics: Iago, Othello

Power and Control in Othello

In modern society, there are instances where one person has power over another. It is found in professions, school, and everyday life. What is meant by control is having some sort of influence in the way you act, make money, or are seen by others. This in no way means that someone completely owns another […]

Pages: 1 Words: 448 Topics: Iago, Othello

A Short Review of the Othello Play

In Act 1 of Othello, we are introduced to Iago and Roderigo. Iago is upset because Othello gave Cassio the position Iago wanted. Iago felt Cassio was not qualified for the position because he had never been in actual situations unlike Iago. The true colors of Iago are shown because this is the first time […]

Pages: 5 Words: 1394 Topics: Iago, Othello

Importance of Literary Devices in Othello

This passage highlights Iago’s character through the use of diction, imagery, irony, and other instances of figurative language. In this exchange, Iago continues to inconspicuously accuse Desdemona of being unfaithful to Othello and accuse Cassio of being disloyal to his superiors. He inserts various remarks at different times to execute this plan. At the end […]

Pages: 4 Words: 1332 Topics: Iago, Irony, Othello

Lies, Revenge and Betrayal in Othello

Lies are extremely common in our society today, with millions of people masking their true intentions. In Shakespeare’s play titled Othello, one of the characters, Iago, is no different and in fact the same as those deceptive individuals in society. Behind his act as a trustworthy friend, Iago is a manipulative and deceptive character creating […]

Pages: 4 Words: 1118 Topics: Computer Networking, Computer Security, Crime Prevention, Cyberspace, Digital Technology, Information Technology, Internet, Othello

Theme of Jealousy in Iago, Roderigo, and Othello’s Characters

Shakespeare explores the theme of jealousy in Othello through Iago,Roderigo, and Othello. Iago starts off the jealousy theme in Othello when he gets jealous of Cassio. Othello puts Cassio as his 2nd in command while he signed Iago to be his ensign which means third in command. Iago then goes crazy and starts plotting to […]

Pages: 1 Words: 439 Topics: Iago, Othello

Role of Literary Devices in Othello

In Othello by William Shakespeare, Othello considers and thinks about all his actions before going through with them. By analyzing his soliloquies, we can understand his thoughts, and his reasons behind his actions. In act 5 scene 2 the first soliloquy Othello contemplated him killing his wife. This monologue gives you an inside scoop of […]

Pages: 2 Words: 709 Topics: Othello, William Shakespeare

Prominent Theme in Shakespeare’s Othello

Within the play “Othello, written by William Shakespeare, the main and prominent theme of the play concerns with Othello’s primary flaw, his jealousy. Thus, it is evident within the play the term “The Green-Eyed Monster whom Iago refers as jealousy suggests why The role of jealousy within Othello is focused from his delusional jealousy described […]

Pages: 2 Words: 582 Topics: Iago, Othello
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