• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9

How Is Othello Viewed By Others And How Does He View Himself

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How Is Othello Viewed By Others And How Does He View Himself? The Shakespearian tragedy 'Othello' is a story of immensely contrasting opinions where jealously rules rife over the flawed, but heroic leading character. With racism even alive today, the fact that this character was of dark skin raised even more controversy around the Shakespearian era. The audience that would have first viewed this play would have had preconceptions about the personality and the role that Othello would ensue. Due to the stereotypical and racist viewpoints that people held at this time, black was in any case a colour associated with evil or deformity, therefore the character of the black Othello was expected to be violent, jealous, treacherous and most likely associated with witchcraft. Shockingly, especially for the people of the Shakespearian era, Othello does not relate to this stereotype and is in fact quite the opposite at the start of the play- the calm and strongly composed character. Some of these stereotypical 'black' traits however are indeed seen in the play, but controversially from another character, the white Iago, who incidentally plays the role of the evil manipulator. Othello's character is portrayed to the reader in his composed first words- 'Tis better as it is'. The line being only a half-line proves his characters' firm but comfortable personality, needing only to say the controlled necessary in each situation. As his personality seems to be so strong and wise, it is unusual that Iago deems Othello as an easy target to manipulate- 'will tenderly be lead by the nose as asses are'. Iago's obvious hatred for Othello is overly emphasised throughout the play by his disregard and lack of respect towards the character. He constantly makes racist comments about Othello to others, but never to Othello himself, naming him- 'Barbary horse' to Desdemona's father and stating that he does 'hate the Moor' to Roderigo. ...read more.

Middle

She sees through his vicious acts and it is clear to her that the man she married is no longer the corrupted man that stands before her. With her last words to Emilia she states that she doesn't hold Othello responsible for her death, and even at this perilous moment, names her husband well- 'Nobody; I myself. Farewell. Commend me to my kind lord.' She always manages to see Othello positively. Emilia herself, closely linked with Desdemona and often mistreated by her husband Iago, quickly alters her opinion of Othello as the play progresses. Her attitudes towards men are already bitter and derive mainly from the way that Iago has treated her throughout their marriage. She seems to be a feminist and is able to stick up for women- but only in the absence of a male presence. For Emilia the way in which Othello treats Desdemona only emphasises this feeling- 'they eat us hungerly, and when they are full, they belch us.' Unfortunately it is evident that Emilia has not always thought of Othello in this negative manner. She awards him the benefit of the doubt as she recognises that his behaviour is becoming erratic and almost stumbles upon Iago's secret- 'Remove your thought. It doth abuse your bosom. If any wretch have put this in your head, let heaven requite it with the serpent's curse!' Othello's final behaviour allows Emilia to justify her racist statements- 'O, more the angel she, and you the blacker devil!' Othello at his most degrading point in the play reverts to the stereotype that he originally seemed so far from, even though it is apparent to the reader that his reactions are in fact more like Iago's. Emilia's final realisation forces her to make yet another racist comment and name Othello as gullible- 'Oh thou dull moor'. Brabantio's relative, Lodovico, is the character that shows an obvious change in attitudes towards Othello, in a strikingly short space of time. ...read more.

Conclusion

The final stage in Othello's personality transformation sees him return almost to his former self- a controlled man, but this time with a huge sense of guilt and despair laid upon his heart. He now sees himself as a monster, and begs for punishment' 'Whip me... Roast me in sulphur!' In a desperate effort to regain control in the situation, we see Othello commit an act that would fit with his former character, he stabs himself. This shows that Othello now thinks so badly of himself that he claims happiness will be found in death- 'For in my sense 'tis happiness to die.' We see Othello in his final speech attempt to reclaim any respect and decency from his characters, and asks them to remember him as one that 'loved not wisely, but too well' and a man that was -'not easily jealous but, being wrought, perplexed in the extreme'. This shows that Othello has regained control over the final moments of his life and hopes to be remembered not for the tragic deeds he has committed but for his decencies and military service. He views himself as an unfairly mislead man, that inevitably forged his own fate. In conclusion, Othello as a character is not only a controversial, but also travels on such a journey through personalities that he is able to change the opinions of those who once looked up to him. The troubled, aggressive and broken Othello we see at the end of play is a shadow of his former self and proves just how each and every person has strengths and weaknesses that can be carefully manipulated. The real Othello that we see at the beginning of the play is one that can never be regained once jealousy has set in, and this is clearly shown by the tragic ending to the play. Othello tragically saw himself as a strong character, but was eventually shown to be a gullible fool at the hands of the evil manipulative Iago. By Louise Bishop 5GD Form: 112 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Othello section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Othello essays

  1. Is Othello a 'noble hero' brought down by 'a devil of motiveless malignity' or ...

    Othello no sastified with this prove Iago proposed Othello to bring Cassio to an area to the castle and question him about his affair with Desdemona. Iago say: "Ply Desdemona well, and you are sure on't now, if this uit lay in Bianca's power, how quickly should you speed!

  2. Why did the marriage of Othello and Desdemona end in tragedy?

    If he was a devil who does evil for his own sake, than he wouldn't care if his lies were true or not. Iago speaks of how Othello would prove to be a good husband to Desdemona, he also admits that he loves Desdemona.

  1. Why Desdemona falls in love with Othello and marries him secretly

    It is in this atmosphere that Othello the noble Moorish general of royal lineage must thrive. Eldred Jones has stated this well saying, "Brabantio, ignoring the facts angrily classes Othello with bond slaves and pagans.... Brabantio reflects popular prejudices"("Othello- An Interpretation" Critical Essays 42).

  2. hakespeares tragic heros dying words: loved not wisely, but too well, reflects the downfall ...

    Furthermore, one can suggest that he attempts to take Othello's individuality away from him using his rhetoric to consistently degrade him. Contrasts exist between the characters and their language, and we are also aware of the difference between Desdemona and her husband, she being the: "white ewe", while he the: "black ram".

  1. How Does Iago Successfully Manipulate Othello in Shakespeare

    Desdemona tells Cassio that Othello is not in the mood for anymore attention on that matter at this time. Cassio sees his mistress, Bianca, on departing from Desdemona and gives the handkerchief to her to copy the embroidery that he likes.

  2. Directing a Othello- Symbolism of Final Scene

    Therefore I want you to focus on three moments initiated by lines in the play. Othello enters the chamber and quenching the candles; he says "put out the light". The actual line (5.2.7) when Othello says "Put out the light, and then put out the light..." is an interesting one.

  1. In Which way does Iago manipulate characters and contribute To their downfall in Shakespeare's ...

    Othello's return breaks the silence, and a loving and heart felt speech is said from him to his wife Desdemona. 'It gives me wonder great as my content to see you here before me o my soul's joy!' Desdemona replies 'The heavens forbid but that our loves and comforts should increase, even as days do grow.'

  2. Essay on 'Othello'

    The scene is set at night where dark and underhand deeds are covered up, and not seen by the light of day. It begins with two characters, Roderigo and Iago, disputing. Roderigo is fervent to possess Desdemona, with the help of Iago.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work