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Many definitions of tragedy claim that at the end of the play positives have emerged. Is it possible to see anything positive in the ending of Othello?

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Introduction

Many definitions of tragedy claim that at the end of the play positives have emerged. Is it possible to see anything positive in the ending of Othello? Shakespeare delivers the concept of tragedy as an adaptation to classical tragedy allows many debates to be opened as to whether or any of his influences, e.g. Senecan drama and the political side in the Elizabethan era, allows the audience, to cast judgements upon whether or not positivity can be drawn. With many criticisms on the construction of the play, such as Rymer saying it was "unbelievable", it appeared that the negatives out shadowed the positives. The frail nature of the play, and the hamartia of the characters themselves, either allowed the audience to be cathartic or not to be cathartic, and this catharsis heavily influenced the audience's response to the play. The undergoing of catharsis is one of the issues debated by one of the early critical interpreters, Rymer (1), and, A.C Bradley(2). A.C Bradley said that the "tension is very painful", and the "remaining of the play permit of very little relief". This judgement was based upon the time scaling of the tragedy and how when the "middle of the tragedy is reached", extreme tension arises and a catastrophe occurs for the audience as the conflict appears to develops very "slowly". ...read more.

Middle

as god created 'order'. Towards the end of the play, we ask our self whether Othello dies loving Desdmona, with 'order' being maintained, or not loving Desdemona, leaving a sense of disorder at the end of the play. Othello says: "I kissed thee ere I killed thee". This perfect balance is made by the assonance of 'kissed' and 'killed' and shows perhaps a balance between love and death, and how Othello isn't dying upon hate, nor love, but both, as he doesn't accept why he killed Desdesdemona, but does take some responsibility in the "I". This shows some limbo of disorder and order, and there is, therefore, some sort of chaos towards the end. Eliot commented that Othello is only "trying to cheer himself up". To an extent, yes, as Othello is trying to rationalise the situation, but ultimately Othello tries to regain his nobility by attempting to not die with hate, as disorder will be maintained and the world will become fragmented. Othello's attempt to maintain order is positive positive, yet the outcome is negative due to disorder In the 1989 production of the play (Starring Ian Mckellen), the final image is left on Iago, which leaves the viewers unsatisfied. ...read more.

Conclusion

This satirises Christianity in a way, as the bible is invaluable and Othello 'goes against it' by being immoral. Therefore we can now say that Othello does not maintain a heroic figure, but is merely a coward. As a whole, we question whether the deception we had as an audience from the long time scale and the delay results in a lack of catharsis, and therefore seeing the love as not admirable meant viewing the end with negativity, or can we think of Iago's love as homosexual as he blatantly thinks that sex between man and woman is disgusting (a black ram is tupping your white ewe'), and therefore see through the eyes of the 17th century as 'justice' being done by Iago being imprisoned. Justice has been done because in the 17th century, being "homosexual" was sodomy and therefore one can see this is satisfaction and view the end in a positive light. If my interpretation was taken into account of Iago being possibly "homosexual", we can see how Shakespeare reverses tragic convention on the Elizabethan era, and we may think that Shakespeare delved his political views into the book as at the time, this was the only way to express your views. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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