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Clash of Virtues in Othello

Powerful Essays
Clash of Virtues in Othello

Perhaps it is just human nature, but people have a way of going to absolute extremes. Whether exhibiting severity in the way one loves, or the way one is loyal, or the way one strives for ambitions, people, in general, have a tendency to take their emotions or actions "all the way." It's an exhibition of passion. Being an expert on the human condition, no one knows or can illustrate this better than Shakespeare. Particularly in his tragedies, Shakespeare very precisely defines aspects of the human condition. He additionally exhibits the polarity of those conditions, and the consequences when they interact with their opposites. Shakespeare's beautiful tragedy Othello is a particularly good example of such clashing virtues. Love and hate; good and evil; loyalty and betrayal; This work takes a wide tour of human character. Throughout the play, many characters exhibit evil and distrust. These villainous traits clash head on with their polar opposites, and this leads to the death and destruction of the innocent. Superficially, it would seem as though this play, with all of its tragedy, does not uphold the sanctity of love, loyalty and devotion. However, under closer examination of the love and death of Desdemona and Othello, it becomes evident that Shakespeare is indeed supporting the strength and virtue of love. Though the lives of these characters, and thus the play, end tragically, the nature of their deaths speaks a message of invincible love. Though humans themselves are mere mortals, Shakespeare asserts that the virtuous human conditions can hold steadfast through a clash with polar opposites.

Right from the opening scene, Othello presents an aura of evil and disloyalty. The play begin...

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