Paranoid Personality Disorder In Shakespeare's Othello

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It is thought by psychiatrists that a surprisingly large percentage of people on this planet are somewhat mentally ill (Holmes). From anxiety to Schizophrenia and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, many people experience some kind of mental discomfort. Shakespeare, the mastermind behind plays like Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet, went in depth on the topic of mental illness in his play Othello. It is theorized by many literary critics, that most, if not all characters in Othello can be diagnosed with a mental disorder. With a wide range of characters to choose from, the most interesting one is undeniably Othello himself. In a succession of events, his mental illness, Paranoid Personality Disorder, leads him to his ultimate demise, making him see enemies in every shadow, and clouding his judgment of people he trusts and loves. Paranoid Personality Disorder is a pattern of distrust and suspiciousness,…show more content…
(4.1.140-144 His worries turn into statements, and his wonderings into insults, that he can not control. During the story, many of Othello´s relationships are ruined. His friendship with Iago is destroyed before the play even starts, his relationship with Desdemona is slowly poisoned, by Othelloś own mind, but one of the most important relationships in the book, is the one Othello has with Cassio. The center of the play is the relationship between Othello and his wife Desdemona. What is initially portrayed as a marriage of love and excitement, was ruined by the influence of Othello's Personality Disorder, which causes constant distrust and suspicion based on benign events (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - 5, 649). After a conversation with Iago on Desdemona's loyalty, Othello begins to have doubts about his marriage, thinking that Iago is also lying to him, Why did I marry? This honest creature Doubtless Sees and knows more, much more, than he unfolds¨

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