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"I am not what I am." An essay on Othello, question No 4. I will discuss this quote in relation to Lacan's ideas about language as the symbolic order. My aim is to show how Othello finds his identity threatened by Desdemona's reaction to his tales. In order to explain Lacan's ideas very briefly I will quote from Pam Morris: Literature and Feminism, (Blackwell, 1993) where she discusses ... Full-text essay

Othello, written by William Shakespeare is the story of Othello, the protagonist and tragic hero of the play. A Moor commanding the armies of Venice, he is a celebrated general and heroic figure whose "free and open nature" will enable Iago to twist his love for his wife Desdemona into a powerful jealousy. Iago is Othello’s ensign, and Shakespeare's greatest villain. His public face of ... Full-text essay

If one reads Shakespeare's Othello, they can come to the conclusion that it might be one of the his most tragic plays ever written by Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliet, is probably the most famous of his tragic plays, but Othello, has characteristics that, I think make it even more tragic then his other plays, and therefore for that reason, you can say that Othello is the most tragic hero. Othello is... Full-text essay

Othello is a Moorish nobleman and soldier of fortune, inclined into the vale of years. Now in the service of the Venetian State as a general against the Turks. Othello is said to be “ great of heart,” “honorable and valiant,” “of a free open nature, that thinks men honest that but seem to be so,” and “ thus easy victim to the “green eyed monster”...JEALOUSY.” At the beginning of the play, Othello a... Full-text essay

In Othello, we encounter Iago, one of Shakespeare’s most evil characters. Iago is an officer in Othello's army and is jealous of Cassio's promotion to Lieutenant. Through deception and appearance, we see many lies and clever schemes unfold. The astonishing thing about Iago is that he seems to make up his malicious schemes as he goes along without any planning. I agree with the critics that say Ia... Full-text essay

During the Elizabethan times it was uncommon for black people to act out roles in plays. Shakespeare introduces this to his audience in two plays, the first Titus Andromicus and the second Othello. The first black character, Aaron, is portrayed as a secondary villain. Othello on the other hand is of higher status than many of his peers in the play. This was different for Shakespeare to present a ... Full-text essay

In his book, Shakespearean Tragedy, A.C. Bradley discusses at length the many great works of William Shakespeare. One such work is that of Othello. The story Othello is one of Shakespeare’s more intricate works. The basic plot is one a man betrayed by those who are supposed to be close to him but turn out to truly be vipers in wait to strike. Bradley suggests that Othello’s tragic flaw s are the ... Full-text essay

Tragedies frequently focus on a tragic hero that has a flaw that ultimately leads to his downfall. That flaw is commonly referred to as a tragic flaw that is inborn to the person and can reflect his background. In Aristotle's Poetics, he discusses the theory of tragedy and what criteria is essential in an ideal tragedy. According to Aristotle, the tragic flaw is the most important part of the her... Full-text essay

In Shakespeare’s play Othello, Iago is the antagonist. That is, he is the villain in the play Othello. He is the person who causes an action to occur which affects the other characters in the play. This action may not necessarily be a good thing. Iago is the catalyst for Othello’s change. He is the reason behind Othello’s changing views of his wife Desdemona, which results in the deaths of many o... Full-text essay

One of the most interesting and exotic characters in the tragic play " Othello", by William Shakespeare, is "honest" Iago. At first Iago seems to be motiveless. However, the motivation behind his actions lie more in Iago's quest for personal gain, as opposed to just being evil for evil's sake. Iago's greediness can be validated by examining his manipulation of Roderigo, Cassio... Full-text essay

The Different Sides of Iago’s Character In Shakespeare's "Othello," Iago carefully and masterfully entraps Othello into believing that his wife, Desdemona, is having an affair with Cassio. He does this through a series of suggestions and hesitations that entice and implant images into Othello's head that lead him to his own end. More importantly, Iago gives Othello the motive to murder ... Full-text essay

Iago (Othello’s ensign) uses love against Othello (general of the Venetian army) to cause him to experience jealousy. He not only utilizes the Moor’s love for Desdemona, but also his love for Iago and their friendship “My lord, you know I love you...”(1.3.117) Funny enough, Iago gives warning to Othello of the very negative emotion that he hopes to inflict upon him! (1.3.166).“Oh beware, my lord, o... Full-text essay

In Shakespeare's "Othello," Iago carefully and masterfully entraps Othello into believing that his wife, Desdemona, is having an affair with Cassio. He does this through a series of suggestions and hesitations that entice and implant images into Othello's head that lead him to his own end. More importantly, Iago gives Othello the motive to murder his own innocent wife Desdemona, satisfy... Full-text essay

In act one of Othello, Shakespeare’s character, Iago, shows how deceitful and disloyal people can be. Iago’s disloyalty towards Othello and Cassio is portrayed through the lies he tells to Barbantio, Othello, and Cassio. Othello wants revenge on Othello because he thinks that Othello slept with his wife, Emilia, and because he gave Cassio the promotion Iago thought he deserved. Therefor he also w... Full-text essay

"I am not what I am." What is Iago? -- as distinct from what he pretends to be -- and what are his motives? In Shakespeare's, Othello, the reader is presented the classic battle between the deceitful forces of evil and the innocence of good. It are these forces of evil that ultimately lead to the breakdown of Othello, a noble venetian moor, well-known by the people of Venice as a honour... Full-text essay

Throughout Shakespeare’s Othello, the major theme of jealousy is apparent. According to Microsoft Bookshelf, jealousy, by definition, means “resentful or bitter in rivalry.” The tragedy Othello focuses on the doom of Othello and the other major characters as a result of jealousy. The theme of jealousy is prominent throughout the play as it motivates the characters’ actions. In Shakespeare’s Othel... Full-text essay

The two villains in “Much Ado About Nothing” and “Othello” share much in common, despite their numerous differences. It is evident that Shakespeare framed the second piece of literature to be similar to the first. Although shorter, the plot of “Othello” is definitely more complex. The villains play a major part in the novels, and are very much alike in their line of thinking. The comedy, “Much Ad... Full-text essay

Although there are lots of things to suggest this is a racist play I don't think that racism actually dominates the play, even though it has a racist theme. There is a romantic union between black and white which gets destroyed because most people think the relationship is wrong. At the time the play was written, 1604, even the Queen of England was racist so there must have been a strong hatred o... Full-text essay

Revenge is a constant theme throughout the play Othello. It is portrayed through the character Iago. Iago is determined to destroy Othello and his loved ones. This retribution is a result of Othello promoting Cassio to the position of lieutenant. The theme of revenge is the motivation of Iago’s hatred toward Othello. In the beginning of the play, Iago feels betrayed by his good friend, Othello. T... Full-text essay

As villain in Shakespeare’s play Othello, Iago has two main actions. They are to plot and to deceive. Iago hates Othello for two reasons. He believes that Othello made love to his wife, and Iago is mad that Cassio was chosen to be Lieutenant instead of himself. From this hate comes the main conflict of the play. Iago plans to ruin Othello by carrying out a plan based on lies and deceit. This plan... Full-text essay

William Shakespeare presents an excellent leader but a poor reasoner in Othello. The eponymous hero has strength, charisma, and eloquence. Yet these ideals of leadership do not bode well in real world situations. The battlefield and Senate are, at least in Othello, depicted as places of honor, where men speak truly. In addition, the matters of war and state are relatively simple; no one lies to O... Full-text essay

In William Shakespeare’s play Othello, there lurks an evil that far is surpasses the darkness of the devil, it lies in the antagonist Iago. Othello who passes Iago up for a promotion simply because Iago is not a arithmetician, swears to take his revenge and destroy the moor and every thing Othello holds dear. Through this Iago plays judge, jury, and executioner, but is Iago’s justice justified or... Full-text essay

“Good, evil, or misunderstood.” A character paper on Othello, by Shakespeare It seems fascinating that an interesting and clever character in a story, would be the villain, such is the case in Othello, by Shakespeare. As a moor, Othello has faced many challenges and prejudices throughout his life. When he becomes a soldier of high stature and honor, and weds, he receives the jealousy and envy of ... Full-text essay

Shakespeare’s Othello introduces a striking and fascinating character, Iago, to all of its readers. His evilness and ambition for revenge has the ability to grasp each reader’s attention and not let go. And Shakespeare wastes no time in presenting his audience with such an astounding character. As the play opens, it immediately becomes apparent that Iago is already at work. He is using his skills... Full-text essay

In the article, Othello and the pattern of Shakespearean Tragedy, by G.R. Hibbard published in 1968, Hibbard discusses how Othello, by William Shakespeare, stands apart from the rest of the Shakespearean Tragedies. He uses examples from the play to support his thesis of how the tragic pattern in Othello is very much different from that of the others. I agree with Hibbard’s view on Othello and it’... Full-text essay

Othello: This is main character in the play. He is a Moorish General and head of the army of Venice. He is a warrior, honest, and loves his new wife, Desdemona very much. His one flaw is that he trusts his ensign, Iago too much and allows Iago to corrupt him. Iago cons him into believing his wife is cheating on him, and he kills her for it. When he realises she was not cheating, he commits suicid... Full-text essay

"I am not what I am." What is Iago? -- as distinct from what he pretends to be -- and what are his motives? In Shakespeare's, Othello, the reader is presented the classic battle between the deceitful forces of evil and the innocence of good. It are these forces of evil that ultimately lead to the breakdown of Othello, a noble venetian moor, well-known by the people of Venice as a honour... Full-text essay

Othello as a Tragic Hero William Shakespeare's famous tragedy "Othello, the Moor of Venice" (c.1604, as reprinted in Laurence Perrine and Thomas R. Arp, Literature: Structure Sound and Sense, 6th ed. [Fort Worth: Harcourt, 1993]1060-1148) is arguably one of the finest, if not the finest, tragedies in the literary history of Western civilization. This paper discusses Othello as a "t... Full-text essay

In all of Shakespeare’s great novels there are many experiences, tragic or otherwise that one can learn from. Shakespeare’s novel Othello is not an exception this rule. Throughout Othello there are many examples of mistakes made by the characters that a reader can learn from. Learning from the flaws of others is one way that one can learn form Shakespeare’s Othello. In the novel Othello there are... Full-text essay

The four main characters in the play Othello represent four different character traits of manhood: Roderigo, the failure; Othello, the hero, yet the insane lover; Cassio, the noblemen; and Iago, the villain, yet the strongest character of the play. Of these four characters Roderigo reveals the weakest character traits. Iago effortlessly profits from Roderigo’s deficiency in a intelligence, in fac... Full-text essay

“If Othello didn’t begin as a play about race, history has made it one.” The Venetian society that Othello is set in is representative of the writers context. The attitudes and values that Shakespeare reveals through the text are those same attitudes and values of Elizabethan society in England in the sixteenth-century. Although Othello is set in Venice and Cyprus, the attitudes and values shared... Full-text essay

Shakespeare's trajedy, "Othello" is a play based on passion unchecked. The desire for money, power, and love drive the characters to commit acts that betray any hint of rational thinking. Readers are given a taste of how passionate Othello is in Act Two, Scene Three. "Now, by heaven, My blood begins my safer guides to rule, And passion, having my best judgement collied, Essays to l... Full-text essay

Plot Summary Iago is passed over for a promotion by his commander, Othello, a Moor and a general in the service of Venice, and vows revenge. Othello has just married Desdemona, the daughter of Brabantio, a Venetian Senator, and Iago enlists the aid of Roderigo, a rejected suitor, to tell Desdemona's father about the marriage. Brabantio goes to seize his daughter, but is interrupted by news of a T... Full-text essay

The play Othello was written be William Shakespeare in the latter years of Shakespeare’s career. Shakespeare composed, revised, and acted in many theatrical performances throughout his life, he also owned the Globe theater where many of his works were performed. The work Othello was based on a story by Giraldi Cinthios, Tale of a Moor, which was a mellow drama about a moor and his doubts about hi... Full-text essay

Lots of times people get love and lust confused. In Shakespeare’s Othello, the characters in this book are very confused about the difference and it results in perplexity, confusion, commotion and death. This is shown in Shakespeare’s use of symbolism, characterization and irony. The person who best illustrates this theme is Roderigo. He tells Iago, “That thou, Iago, who hast had my purse,” to ge... Full-text essay

Shakespeare's trajedy, "Othello" is a play based on passion unchecked. The desire for money, power, and love drive the characters to commit acts that betray any hint of rational thinking. Readers are given a taste of how passionate Othello is in Act Two, Scene Three. "Now, by heaven, My blood begins my safer guides to rule, And passion, having my best judgement collied, Essays to l... Full-text essay

One of the most interesting and exotic characters in the tragic play " Othello", by William Shakespeare, is "honest" Iago. At first Iago seems to be motiveless. However, the motivation behind his actions lie more in Iago's quest for personal gain, as opposed to just being evil for evil's sake. Iago's greediness can be validated by examining his manipulation of Roderigo, Cassio... Full-text essay

William Shakespeare's "Othello" presents all of the elements of a great tragedy, according to Aristotle's definition: "A tragedy is the imitation in dramatic form of an action that is serious and complete, with incidents arousing pity and fear wherewith it effects a catharsis of such emotions" (Poetics 14) He also adds, "The language used is pleasurable and throughout, ap... Full-text essay

Othello is certainly an overlay of the features that define tragedy as explained by Aristotle, Hegel, Nietzsche and Eagleton. Hence, to say that the play is Hegelian does not necessarily mean it is not Aristotelian. While Aristotle focused on tragedy Hegel focused on the tragic. Both features of tragedy and the tragic are to a great extent available in the Shakespearean tragedy of Othello. Hegel’s theory on the tragic helps us to a great extent analyze the tragic conflict in this play. He focuses on the tragic vis-??-vis tragedy. And for me, Hegel is the best whom can we depend upon analyzing Shakespeare’s Othello. Not only that but also he uses other supportive techniques of increasing the tragic conflict. Hegel, neither judges nor indicates that the Greek tragedy is better than the Shakespearean , or the Shakespearean is better than the Greek as Professor Carl Friedrich states that it is not Greek tragedy, ultimately, but the Shakespearean dramatic world which Hegel exalts as ‘the very pinnacle of aesthetic achievement.’
To Hegel suffering does not mean tragedy. The cause of suffering is more important than suffering itself. In this way Hegel gives stress not on the suffering of a person but on the cause of suffering. He relates it to “a special kind of action which born out of the conflict of the spirit”. In Hegel’s view the suffering of a tragic hero is due to the conflict of the spirit. The reason why the tragic conflict thus appeals to the spirit is that it is itself a conflict of the spirit. It is a conflict, that is to say, between powers that rule the world of man’s will and action – his “ethical substance”. Hegel says that discordant of two forces always produces a tragic conflict. It is not essential that conflict always be between good and evil but it can be between good and good. One tries to prove the rejection of other and the result is collision. “The essentially tragic fact is the self – division and intestinal warfare of the ethical substance, not so much the war of good with evil as the war of good with good.”
Hegel describes tragedy ‘not merely a story of suffering but that of inexorability of law of fate of necessity’. The tragic hero involves in every action without knowing it good or bad or differentiating between them. Therefore, he is followed by the wrong action, makes a sacrifice of his entire life and ultimately reaches to his room.
All the main characters of Shakespearean tragedies meet their end by following the same theory. Hegel gives the idea of ‘reconciliation’. It means the realization of follies or mistakes done by the character on each and every step. Although he wants to improve it, he is too late to escape from the consequences. Ultimately, he prepares himself both physically and mentally to accept his defeat and destruction.
Thus, according to Hegelian theory, the incompatibility between two forces _ good and evil or good and good, produces a tragic conflict. Othello may be interpreted on the basis of this theory. In the play we find that both ‘Othello’ and ‘Desdemona’ are good characters. But Iago’s personal jealousy involves them in the evil game. He feels jealous for Othello and Cassio professionally and suspects his wife Emilia has illegal relationship with them.
The combination of this professional and sexual jealousy leads Iago to ruin the life of the poor characters. He provokes Othello against his wife Desdemona and makes him to suspect on her chastity. He convinces him that Cassio and Desdemona have an affair: ‘O beware, my lord, of jealous!/ It is green eyes monster; which doth mock./The meat it feeds on. That cuckold lives in bliss/ Who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger?/ Provoked by him without trying to find out the reason Othello involved in every wrong action and loses the balance of his mind and emotion. Othello, who has a deep faith in sexual purity, becomes excited to know about his wife’s unfaithfulness and violation of her chastity. On the other hand, Iago continuously persuades his rage: “Lie with her? Lie on her? We say lie on her when they / belie her. Lie with her? Zounds, that’s fulsome!? It is not words that shake me thus! Pish! /Noses, ears and lips/ it’s possible? – confess?/ Handkerchief/ O devil!”
Completely overwhelmed by his passion and ruled by the evil powers of Iago he kills his wife in suspicion. Hence, he denies both moral and legal law guided but the evil force and neglects the good force in Desdemona. But when he comes to know about the truth and realizes his folly. It is too late to do anything. He has to pay the life of his wife as a price of his wrong action and violation of law. Ultimately, he stabs himself repenting on his blender folly. In this way, law negates Othello as a result of its negation by him.
The indispensible element of both tragedy and comedy is collision. Collision occurs when ‘one individual’s aim encounters hindrances from other individuals’so that in this confrontation mutual conflicts and their complication result.’ Both the ends and the individuals identified with those ends come to a resolution through either ‘inevitable disaster or peaceful union.’ The resolution of the tragic conflict in Othello, however, is followed by the negation of the hero and affirmation of the moral order in the universe. As soon as Othello is awakened that he is guilty, his life turns out to be a sort of self-destruction. As per the Hegelian canon, Othello’s death shows the inexorability of Law.
Thus, the collision in Othello is not overtly the divine laws governing the family versus the laws of the State (as it for example in Sophocles’ Antigone). What constitute the main collisions are Iago’s hatred for Othello, and then the jealous fury of deceived Othello against innocent Desdemona. According to Hegel, Shakespeare gives some of the finest examples of ‘characters who come to ruin simply because of this decisive adherence to themselves and their aims.’
Aside from subjectivity, as Hegel states, contingencies also play a greater role in modern drama. Thus, even if, in Othello, we see credulity and obstinacy approaching what Hegel describes as a stoic consciousness in the Phenomenology of Spirit, Othello might nonetheless have lived happily with Desdemona. It is the contingency of Iago coming into his life and hating him so much that causes the problem. Iago’s presence has nothing to do with will of the gods.
Given the comprehensiveness and universality of the characters of the play’s dramatic action, we might say, according to Hegel, that Othello as well as other Shakespearean characters like Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, and other tragic characters as well have bad luck in circumstances and in some cases character traits. But it is not bad luck what makes tragedy. For Elizabethan consciousness, what happened to Othello concerns one or all of the following: the Wheel of Fortune, Fate, or the will of Providence. References to Fortune and to the position of the stars or the Divine occur throughout the play and characters after plead with or rail against these forces. It is the ability, as Hegel says of ‘Absolute Spirit,’ to sacrifice oneself into free contingent happening. It is the reuniting of the subject with nature. Iago, as Edmund in King Lear, was not capable of such sacrifice. Iago’s inability is present in his own credulity: His hatred of Othello stems from the fact that someone told Iago that Othello had slept with Iago’s wife. Thus despite being able to not be who he appears to be, Iago is caught up in the dramatic action. For someone to negate the negation, he or she has to have a clear understanding of his or her dramatic identity, and to be able to step in and out of it at will, as necessity dictates.
A way to organize one’s dramatic identity the wrong way is to see it as a function of magic. Othello gets himself really twisted up about Desdemona when he brings up the meaning of the handkerchief he gave to her and which he believes she has given away to Cassio.

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