Compare and contrast the writers presentation of the consequences of obsessive love in: Othello, Notes on a Scandal and The Yellow Wallpape

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Compare and contrast the writers’ presentation of the consequences of obsessive love in: Othello, ‘Notes on a Scandal’ and ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’

In Othello, ‘Notes on a Scandal’, ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’, there is a theme of obsessive love. The writer presents obsessive love through the characters’ speech and actions. All texts present love through different periods of history, ‘Othello’ written in 1602, ‘‘The Yellow Wallpaper’’ written in 1899 and ‘Notes on a Scandal’ written in the late 20th century. This shows us that obsessive love has always been a major theme in society and will continue to be as ‘Notes on a Scandal’, the most recent novel shows. Obsessive love will also have consequences and these consequences may always be dangerous to those concerned.

In ‘Othello’ we learn that Othello was one who loved not wisely, but too well’. He allowed his heart to control his mind. A Shakespearean hero always leads directly to suffering and destruction. Here the destruction comes from Othello’s jealousy, which has led  to his obsessive love with Desdemona.                                                                                                                                                                            

Othello at the start of the play is portrayed by Shakespeare, as a man with great calmness and control. ‘Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them’ Othello says when Brabantio orders his men to arrest him. Othello is also portrayed as a man who is knowledgeable and has a great amount of education, we know this by him saying ‘Rude am I in my speech                                                                                                                                  And little blessed with the soft phrase of peace’                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      this is ironic as the audience knows that Othello is well educated for his time as he is the general and he is greatly respected as, one as his arms have‘…had seven years pith… they had used their dearest actions in the tented field’. In the 17th century Europe, black people were not well educated or even of such high rank, as Othello. Black people were either servants or slaves, so for Othello to be at such a high status he must have been incredible in the battlefield in Europe. However Othello is not educated in terms of understanding women and love, and this is another one of Othello’s flaws.  Othello being a man of action, is able to lead an army to war, but he cannot lead his own heart.                                                                                                                                                                                      

Othello becomes obsessively in love with Desdemona, when Iago makes it his priority to ‘set down the pegs that makes this music’. Iago is a staff sergeant, but wants to become a Lieutenant and is willing to do anything till he gets there and as we, see Iago does do everything he can in his power. His plan is to ‘Abuse Othello’s ear that he (Cassio) is too familiar with his wife’. In Act3, Scene3 Iago puts doubt in Othello’s mind. As Cassio walks away from Desdemona he tells Othello that he ‘Cannot think it, that he would sneak away so guilty-like seeing you coming’. Othello on numerous occasions calls Iago ‘Trustworthy’ ‘Good’ and ‘Honest’. Not only Othello but also everybody in the play sees Iago as a good honest man except the audience making this dramatically ironic. This is a key scene as we notice Othello’s speech and actions change for the worse. We no longer see a calm or peaceful man, we see a man who is annoyed and full of anger. From lines 391-505, we see how Othello’s mind is slowly overruled by his heart. Othello claims to have ‘been happy if the general camp…had tasted her body’ so long that ‘…he knew nothing’. This point can be looked at in two ways: Here we see Othello really heart broken by hearing of Desdemona’s unlawful actions or we see Othello becoming obsessive to the point where what he feels is not love at all, but obsessiveness and pride. It can be argued; at this point that Othello’s love for Desdemona is not healthy. Is Othello annoyed that Desdemona has been unfaithful, and that he would not care if he didn’t know? If so, is this love?                                                                                                                                                          

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From lines 460-506 the audience, witness Iago lying about Cassio’s dream, immediately without thought he wants to ‘tear (Desdemona) all to pieces’.  This image here is animalistic, again we notice the consequence of his obsession has led to him being animal-like, and not as controlled as he was at the start of the play. At the end of the scene, Othello wants to ‘hear thee (Iago) say that Cassio not alive’. Othello wants to kill one of his best men, who is a Lieutenant because of the obsessive love he has for Desdemona and because he believes the lies, Iago ...

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