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Before and above all else, Othello is a soldier. From the earliest moments in the play, his career affects his married life. Moreover, she is unperturbed by the tempest or Turks that threatened their crossing, and genuinely curious rather than irate when she is roused from bed by the drunken brawl in Act II, scene iii. The military also provides Othello with a means to gain acceptance in Venetian society.
Mercenary Moors were, in fact, commonplace at the time. Othello predicates his success in love on his success as a soldier, wooing Desdemona with tales of his military travels and battles. Once the Turks are drowned—by natural rather than military might—Othello is left without anything to do: the last act of military administration we see him perform is the viewing of fortifications in the extremely short second scene of Act III.
No longer having a means of proving his manhood or honor in a public setting such as the court or the battlefield, Othello begins to feel uneasy with his footing in a private setting, the bedroom. Iago also takes care to mention that Cassio, whom Othello believes to be his competitor, saw him in his emasculating trance IV. Desperate to cling to the security of his former identity as a soldier while his current identity as a lover crumbles, Othello begins to confuse the one with the other. One might well say that Othello is saying farewell to the wrong things—he is entirely preoccupied with his identity as a soldier.
But his way of thinking is somewhat justified by its seductiveness to the audience as well. The action of Othello moves from the metropolis of Venice to the island of Cyprus. Protected by military fortifications as well as by the forces of nature, Cyprus faces little threat from external forces. Once Othello, Iago, Desdemona, Emilia, and Roderigo have come to Cyprus, they have nothing to do but prey upon one another. And, most prominently, Othello is visibly isolated from the other characters by his physical stature and the color of his skin.
Iago is an expert at manipulating the distance between characters, isolating his victims so that they fall prey to their own obsessions. At the same time, Iago, of necessity always Married Grand Island Nebraska male seeks spark apart, falls prey to his own obsession with revenge. The characters cannot be islands, the play seems to say: self-isolation as an act of self-preservation le ultimately to self-destruction.
Such self-isolation le to the deaths of Roderigo, Iago, Othello, and even Emilia. He also later implies that his hatred of Othello is rooted in jealousy, since there are rumors of Othello having slept with Emilia.
It seems that his jealousy is so intense that he does not need proof of this infidelity before punishing Othello for it. Iago knows, perhaps from his own experience, that jealousy is a form of psychological torture which will constantly torment Othello. By making Othello feel the torments of jealousy towards Desdemona and her supposed lover, Iago causes Othello to suffer as much as he does.
In OthelloOthello simultaneously believes he is being deceived by characters who are honest while failing to see the deceit and treachery of characters who are tricking him. While Othello is naively unable to see that Iago is deceiving him every step of the way, he is also stubbornly convinced that Desdemona is deceiving him even when she is being totally honest.
Everything Desdemona does to prove her innocence comes across to Othello as further proof of her guilt.
In Othellocharacters justify their actions on the basis of deserving justice. The first character we see seeking justice is Brabantio, who is outraged that his daughter has married a man of a different race, and decides that Othello must have bewitched her.
He only feels entitled to justice because social structures have placed him in a position of racial superiority to Othello and gender superiority to Desdemona. What Brabantio envisions as justice is the reassertion of his racial and gendered dominance and power over others. As Othello becomes increasingly convinced that Desdemona has been unfaithful to him, he also feels entitled to seek a form of bloody, self-administered justice.
While there would have been legal procedures in place at this time for bringing charges of adultery against a spouse, Othello is not interested in seeking official forms of justice. He wants to punish his wife himself, and feels entitled to do so. Ace your asments with our guide to Othello! Want study tips sent straight to your inbox? Main Ideas Themes. Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work.
Next section Motifs. Popular s: Othello. Take a Study Break.Married Grand Island Nebraska male seeks spark
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