Reason And Emotion In Othello Analysis

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A Web of Reason and Emotion in Othello
The theme of reason versus emotion can be found by analyzing individual character’s actions in William Shakespeare’s Othello. However, the line between to the two decision-making mindsets is not always very apparent. Three characters – Iago, Desdemona, and Othello – will be analyzed to show that Shakespeare wanted to blur the line between reason and emotion and demonstrate that individuals do not necessarily operate with only one or the other.
As the details of her recent marriage to Othello unfold, Desdemona appears to be a woman driven by emotions. She marries a man because he has shared his stories of grand adventure. In order to do so, she elopes from her loving father’s house in the middle of the night. These seem like actions of emotion stemming from her love – or possibly infatuation – for Othello. Contradictory to this, when asked to speak about her willingness to enter the marriage, she responds with a very clear and sensible reason for staying with Othello: And so much duty as my mother showed To you, preferring you before her father, So much I challenge that I may profess Due to the Moor my lord (I.iii.186-89).
She does not spew out all the reasons why she loves Othello or say that she is unavoidably attracted to him as she could have. Instead, she picks a practical reason –
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Interestingly, as Othello is preparing to kill Desdemona, he still believes that he is using reason to make his decisions. He says, “It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul./ Let me not name it to you, you chaste stars,/ It is the cause” (V.ii.1-3). While he does not speak his reason, he is confident that he has one good enough for which to kill. This continues into an emotional set of lines about how much he is dreading preforming the necessary deed. It is not until the last set of Othello’s lines that he admits to being a fool overcome with

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