Ap Lit- Othello Prompt
Choose a complex and important character in a novel or a play of recognized literary merit who might—on the basis of the character’s actions alone—be considered evil or immoral. In a well-organized essay, explain both how and why the full presentation of the character in the work makes us react more sympathetically than we might otherwise think. Avoid plot summary. A man falls into a violent epileptic shock from sheer anger and jealousy.
Othello is an aspiring man, who under delusional rage, allows revenge to blind him and so he betrays the trust of friendship and marriage. Actions alone can merit the characterization of evil simply because some deeds are too purely vicious and malignant, however William Shakespeare’s Othello creates a character of far greater intricacy than sole action- intricacy demonstrated by the development of language and expansion on plot and character.
The reader is revealed to a noble man of the Northern African decent, an outsider who has come to be well regarded as a leader of Italian military might. He notably outwits Iago’s first attempt to separate him from Desdemona. Othello sways the duke’s opinion through eloquent speech and a steady hold of composure even when confronted with Brabanzio’s absurd accusation of witchcraft. Othello has wooed Desdemona through his rousing tales of adventure and war. As the seed of doubt grows and plans of revenge stem Othello loses his articulate speech and compelling words.
As the reader is led up to the climax of his dreadfully evil action, it’s seen that Othello’s speech becomes sporadic and full of unwarranted emotion. Sentences are full of hiatuses and exclamation points; this ruins the sense of coherent flow of thought. Othello has become deeply rapt in the tales of the Iago, his distracted mind becomes more and more confused and overwhelmed by the supposed deception that is taking place out of his control. Othello is engrossed in the emotions of his heart, his head is comparable to the sea torm that destroyed the Turkish fleet, and thus the reader is able to sympathize with his passionate heart. The source of confusion and violence stems from Shakespeare’s Machiavellian character, Iago. There is no room for coincidences in the play, almost all the circumstances surrounding Othello’s downfall from a noble clearheaded solider to a susceptible rage filled avenger, originate from the ever manipulative Iago and his own thirst for revenge. Iago drives in the nail at every chance he gets, he exploits every ounce of doubt Othello holds.
Iago makes use of a simple handkerchief and friendship to instill the seed of suspicion and eventually provide the supposed concrete evidence of weak fidelity. Othello is too trusting of “honest” Iago and holds too little appreciation for himself, an easy prey to insecurities. Othello’s self confidence dwindles are he considers himself an old black man, not enticing enough for a young wife of the upper class and so it’s easy to believe that she would betray him. Othello becomes wild with jealousy and self-doubt at the false realization that Cassio must be sleeping with Desdemona.
Persuading Othello was a difficult and time consuming effort, by the final scene we see Othello give into the looming “evidence” and smother his wife but this act is surely not from simple impulse of evil. Othello was a puppet in Iago’s hands and had been ignorant of his wife’s genuine love but enforced his ideal of justice upon himself through suicide, showing his remorse. Ultimately it becomes evident that Othello was a man of reckless passion who only wished to love and be loved in a sensible way, which is, were his atrocious actions originate from.