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Essay On Morality And Self Interest In Othello

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Morality vs. Self-Interest
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, by an anonymous poet, and Othello, by Shakespeare, are two stories, which address the acts and outcomes of adultery. In each of these novels, the protagonist’s face adultery and thereby reach a conflict between morality and self-interest. Sir Gawain, a moral and ethical knight, is driven by his desire for life and sex, which ultimately leads him to betray his morality. Othello, who is also portrayed as moral and ethical, is blinded by his jealousy, race, and age, which ultimately leads him to betray his morality. In both Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Othello the conflict between morality and self-interest takes hold of once moral men and destroys them.
In the beginning of the
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During his travel towards the Green Knight, Gawain encounters a gleaming castle. The lord of the castle welcomes him in with great hospitality. The lord proposes a game – Gawain should stay in the manor while the lord goes out to hunt and at the end of the day they will exchange what they received. On day one, the lord is out hunting does while the lord’s wife comes to Gawain’s bedchambers and seduces him. She reasons with him, “A good man like Gawain, so greatly regarded; the embodiment of courtliness to the bones of his being; could never have lingered so long with a lady; without craving a kiss” (1297 - 1300). Gawain, sticking to his knightly behaviors, refuses her but she manages to give him one kiss. At the end of the day, the lord and Gawain exchange the does and kiss. With each new day, the lord’s wife ups her game and tried to make Gawain violate his sense of morality and each time Gawain finds it harder and harder to resists her…show more content…
Iago is mad at Othello since Othello chose Casio as his second-in-command. He therefore schemes with Rodrigues (who was rejected by Desdemona for marriage) to bring Othello down. Iago creates this whole dramatic irony by setting it to look like Casio had an affair with Desdemona. Iago lies to Othello about Desdemona being unfaithful. Othello, in an outrage, believes everything Iago tells him and accuses his wife of being adulterous saying “she’s like a liar gone to burning hell” (V, ii, 132) and “she is false as water” (v, ii, 137). Being that Othello is insecure about his age and race – he is both old and black – he constantly questions Desdemona’s loyalty to him. Therefore, he is easily convinced that Desdemona was unfaithful when Iago torments him. Othello says, “ 'Tis destiny unshunnable, like death” (III, iii, 277). Othello believes his race and age made him destined to be cheated on. In addition, Othello is easily jealous which leads him to suspect his wife’s unfaithfulness as soon as Iago accesses
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