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Othello: The Destruction of Honor

analytical Essay
972 words
972 words
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Othello: The Destruction of Honor In The Tragedy of Othello, William Shakespeare tells the tale of the “noble Moor” whose honor and innocence bring about his downfall. Shakespeare writes of the power of jealousy, and the art of masterful deception and trickery. The story primarily takes place in Cyprus, during a war between the people of Venice and the invading Turks. In this play Shakespeare shows the feelings of Othello’s embittered right-hand man of, Iago, who feels he is passed over for a promotion and swears his revenge. He proceeds to manipulate his friends, enemies, and family into doing his bidding without any of them ever realizing his ultimate goal. He makes Othello believe that his new wife, the innocent Desdemona, is committing adultery with his newly promoted officer Michael Cassio. After this seed of jealousy has been planted, Othello’s mind takes its course in determining the true outcome, with a little more nudging from Iago. The course of action he proceeds to follow is one that not only ends his own life, but also the life of his wife and others. In Shakespeare’s Tragedy of Othello, Othello is a man who is still truly honorable, despite the course of action he takes to resolve his perceived problem. Throughout the novel, up until his insanity, Othello is described as a temperate man whose honor does not allow him to believe assumptions unless he has been shown proof. Firstly, when the men of Brabantio, Desdemona’s father, confront Othello’s men, Othello calmly says, “Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them.” (10). Othello is confronted on the matter of his elopement with Desdemona with force and with words. Not only is he very cool about his dealings with violence, but also when he is asked to tell the story of how he had Desdemona fall in love with him he states the truth, and he doesn’t leave out any details of how he accomplished it. He openly admits that had any other man told his story, that man also would have won her heart. Only a truly honorable man can admit that it was a story, and not his personality that truly won the woman’s heart. Othello’s honor is shown by his trust in the people he knows and loves. When Iago tells Othello that he believes Cassio and Desdemona are having an affair, Othello does not believe Iago initially.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how shakespeare writes of the power of jealousy, and the art of masterful deception and trickery in the tragedy of othello.
  • Analyzes how othello is a temperate man whose honor does not allow him to believe assumptions unless he has been shown proof.
  • Analyzes how othello's path to insanity leads him to perform dishonorable deeds, but he is still honored and respected by others.
  • Analyzes how othello tries to justify his misdeeds honorably, seeing them as the only way to mend the situation. angered by the "proof" iago gives him, he kills his wife out of an act for justice.
  • Analyzes how shakespeare proves that honor is the basis of othello's character and it can be seen throughout the entire play. the only reason shakespeare begins to show otherwise is, because the audience knows the truth behind iago’s manipulations.
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