Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The Moor in Othello Essay -- Othello essays

The Moor in Othello  Ã‚        Ã‚   Who can resist empathizing with the unfortunate protagonist in William Shakespeare’s Othello? He is so noble, and yet so victimized by the cunning Iago.    Is it his â€Å"gullibility† which leads to his downfall? Morton W. Bloomfield and Robert C. Elliott   in Great Plays: Sophocles to Brecht posit the â€Å"lack of insight† of the hero as the cause of his tragic fall:    Othello’s lack of insight, cunningly played upon by Iago, leads to his downfall. And as the full enormity of his deed dawns upon him in the great scene of tragic self-revelation at the end, the audience may perhaps experience catharsis, that purgation of the soul brought about by an almost unbearable pity for him and his victims, and by terror at what human nature is capable of and what pitfalls await us in life. Throughout the play, the audience posses the information which Iago's victim does not have; the viewers know all along what Othello does not know. From that omniscient view, they look upon this tortured human being with a strong sense of the irony and tragedy of his position.   (39)    From the text of the play a number of clues can be gleaned which round out the description of the general. In William Shakespeare: The Tragedies, Paul A. Jorgensen describes the general in Othello:    Though scarcely the â€Å"barbarian† (1.3.353) he is called, the Moor is emphatically black, probably rough, even fearsome, in appearance, and a foreign mercenary from Mauritania in refined Venice. Though of royal blood, since the age of seven he had a restrictive, painful life, being sold into slavery and spending most of his life in â€Å"the tented field† (1.3.85). His â€Å"occupation† (3.3.357), to a degree found in no other Shakes... ...ice his life next to the corpse of Desdemona; for he â€Å"Like the base Judean, threw a pearl away / Richer than all his tribe [. . .] .† He dies a noble death, just as he has lived a noble life. Michael Cassio’s evaluation of his end is our evaluation: â€Å"This did I fear, but thought he had no weapon; / For he was great of heart.†       WORKS CITED    Bloomfield, Morton W. and Robert C. Elliott, ed. Great Plays: Sophocles to Brecht. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1965.    Coles, Blanche. Shakespeare’s Four Giants. Rindge, New Hampshire: Richard Smith Publisher, 1957.    Jorgensen, Paul A. William Shakespeare: The Tragedies. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1985.    Shakespeare, William. Othello. In The Electric Shakespeare. Princeton University. 1996. http://www.eiu.edu/~multilit/studyabroad/othello/othello_all.html No line nos.

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