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How do the different critical readings of the play inform our understanding of the key factors leading to Othello's death? What insights do the different interpretations provide into Shakespeare's potential motivation for writing the play?

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Introduction

How do the different critical readings of the play inform our understanding of the key factors leading to Othello's death? What insights do the different interpretations provide into Shakespeare's potential motivation for writing the play? There are many different factors that contribute to Othello's death. These factors can teach us about Shakespeare's view of society, the renaissance and the concept of civilisation. Adopting different critical approaches to this issue can help us understand the complex reason's leading to Othello's untimely death. The feminist viewpoint could help us in our understanding of why Othello died. We learn that women are expected to be obedient when Brabantio asks Desdemona in front of the Duke 'Where most you owe obedience?' showing that she is expected to choose between her father and husband. This contributes to Othello's death because if she was disobedient she would have fled and given Othello time to calm down and then he would have seen sense and believed her. Women had subservient roles which we see when Desdemona replies to the earlier question and says that she is 'due to the moor my lord' and her reference to her husband as 'my lord' implies that she is inferior to Othello and in reference ...read more.

Middle

When Othello falls into a trance in Act 4 Scene 1 we see that Iago enjoys political or Machiavellian manipulation when we read in his soliloquy 'my med'cine works! Thus credulous fools are caught' showing that Iago takes pleasure in what he is doing and this contributes to Othello's death because it makes Iago feel better because he is destroying Othello. This is his aim and motivation. This critical viewpoint can explain the tragedy that befell Othello because if Iago had not got it into his head that he was wronged then he wouldn't have wanted revenge against him. Iago believed that he was the best fighter out there and could not understand why Othello picked Cassio against him; therefore he manipulated Othello so that he would believe that Desdemona was cheating on him and this caused Othello to go insane. Iago was also insecure which we learn in his aside while having a conversation with to Roderigo when he says ' if Cassio do remain, he hath a daily beauty in his life that makes him ugly' showing that he is comparing himself to Cassio which is why he brought Cassio into it and brought him down too. ...read more.

Conclusion

O, damn her!' showing that he was quick to believe that Desdemona was capable of cheating on him. From the Political viewpoint we see that if Iago had been promoted to second in command over Cassio then he wouldn't have wanted to seek revenge which we learn as he says to Roderigo at the start of the play, 'and I, whom his eyes had seen the proof at Rhodes, at Cyprus, and on other grounds' showing that he feels that he has been overlooked even though Othello has seen him fight many times and so he felt that it was his place to try and convince Othello that Desdemona was a cheat. From the New historical viewpoint if Cassio wasn't from Florence then Othello wouldn't have believed that he would sleep with his wife behind his back. In my opinion, Othello's death was his own fault. He chose to believe Iago over Desdemona. He chose not to confront Desdemona over the allegations. His complete and utter loss of composure and logic, which we see when he discovers the handkerchief is lost and says 'but if she lost it or made a gift of it, my father's eye should hold her loathed,' which shows that he has regressed to a belief in pagan charms. 2005 ...read more.

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