Analysis of Othello by William Shakespeare
Shakespeare sets the play in Venice when it was one of the most
powerful and civilised states of Christian Europe. It was one of the
most sophisticated trading places in the world. Shakespeare paints a
picture of Venice as a racist place and so the colour of someone’s
skin was definitely looked upon as important.
Venice held power in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Turks were
threatening to attack areas in the Eastern Mediterranean such as
Othello, a Moor (North African) black and a professed Christian was
Venice’s most trusted and respected general. As Othello was the
General of the Army ...view middle of the document...
At this point there is a good use of opposites for love
(loyalty) and hatred. Iago displays these well as he shows love to
Othello but hate is shown to Othello in his feelings that he shares
with the audience. Othello shows his confusion about this as he
replies with ‘I think’. There can be no proof for love, because love
is not a matter of measurement or weighing evidence, it is a feeling,
which you cannot see but can be shown. While Iago announces his love
to Othello he tells Roderigo about his hate and loathe for Othello,
“I hate the Moor.”
As the audience we can see that Iago is very cunning and sly he shows
Othello a loving and trustworthy personality, which is different to
the lying, deceitful side he shows the audience.
At the beginning of the play we see Othello’s absolute love for
Desdemona, she is the only one for him and wants to spend as much time
as possible with her, he is besotted by her. Othello does everything
he can to please his new wife, he trusts and respects her wishes.
Othello says that he would stake his life upon her faithfulness,
“My life upon her faith……………………Come Desdemona, I have but an hour of
love, of worldly matters and direction, to spend with thee.”
Othello does love Desdemona and doesn’t want to believe what Iago is
telling him about her and Cassio and so in his mind he is convincing
himself that it is not true and just a misunderstanding.
“But I do love thee; and when I love thee not, Chaos is come
again.” Othello expresses his love for Desdemona to
Iago and he is scared of the effects of losing her. When Othello says,
‘Chaos is come again’ he means that the world will end (as it began)
in chaos. His words of love for Desdemona in Act 2 are now giving way
to suspicion, hatred and revenge. Othello does love Desdemona but
tries not to show it, especially to her. Instead he shows hatred, this
is probably because he doesn’t want to lose his pride after what Iago
has poisoned into his head about Cassio and his wife. If he shows
himself going back to her it will show weakness and vulnerability, so
I think this is why he shows hate.
As we move further into the play Othello’s opinion of Desdemona has
changed and he now believes that if he does not kill Desdemona she
will lure other men into adultery.
“Yet she must die, else she’ll betray more men.”
His trust for Desdemona has been abandoned through jealousy and spite
and so in revenge he kills her. Othello shows his confusion at the end
of Act 5 when he finds out that he was tricked into extreme jealousy.
He is distraught at the evilness he has done by killing Desdemona and
so takes his own life.
“I kissed thee ere I killed thee. No way but this, killing myself, to
die upon a kiss.”
Even though Othello shows complete hate for Desdemona she shows all