Othello by Shakespeare Term Paper

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transformation of Othello in Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice proves to be an interesting element that adds depth and complexity to one of history's best plays. Shakespeare keeps us guessing about Othello's true nature by making him appear good in the beginning of the play but allowing us to see his true nature only after he kills Desdemona. This paper will examine how Othello's characteristics seem to change, but in reality, he never changes but simply reveals his true self.

To introduce us to the complexity involved with Othello's character, Othello's reputation is under attack from the beginning of the play is because of Iago's remarks. Because we do not really get a glimpse of Othello until the third act of the play, Shakespeare has created suspense within us concerning Othello. Shakespeare at the same time is creating a sense of dislike within us for the character of Iago. Our dislike moves from Iago to Othello.

This type of transference from Iago to Othello is what'd. L. Bethell called "diabolic imagery" (Bethell qtd. In Muir 22). Bethell estimated that of the "64 images relating to hell and damnation - Iago has 18 and Othello 26. But 14 of Iago's are used in the first two acts and 25 of Othello's are used in the last three" (22). This "theme of hell," he states "originates with Iago and is transferred to Othello" (22). This theory can be backed up when we explore the personality of Othello in depth.
It is easy to follow how Othello's character changes from a flawless military leader to become a murderer. We are told of Othello: "If virtue no delighted beauty lack, Your son-in-law is far more fair than black" (I.iii.284) and "The Moor is of a free and open nature That thinks men honest that seem to be so And will as tenderly be led by the nose As asses are" (I.iii.390-4).

What is more important to notice, however, is the fact that As the play moves along, we discover Othello is not as good as he was depicted in the first acts. Othello slowly reveals an evil within him for which Iago alone cannot be held totally responsible. Othello was already jealous, which made it easy for Iago to ignite an awful envy. Othello reinforces his true nature by never confronting Cassio or Desdemona until his mind was already made up. If Othello had not been jealous, Iago's meddling would not have been so disastrous. This is the most apparent in the third act when Othello changes from being a happily married man to a man who is considering killing his wife. We can see the extreme of the danger of jealousy when we look at Othello in this way.

In addition, it is clear that Othello already harbored jealous of Desdemona before Iago says him anything. Othello already shows distrust of Desdemona….....

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