Love Is The Ultimate Dagger Essay

Love Is The Ultimate Dagger Essay

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Love is the ultimate dagger: a dangerous game when circumstances turn awry. When passion or short term pleasure supersedes commitment, hearts break. Some people swear to never love again after losing love; some people recede to depression when love is not reciprocated; however, love draws in the human heart. Some people search their whole lives for their proverbial knight in shining armor or the perfect woman. Much less medieval, some simply search for a friend to love. Regardless of the object of love, it is founded in an unsaid promise between two people to be faithful and honorable. In Shakespeare’s seventeenth century tragedy Othello, the plot revolves around love as Othello’s beloved friend and officer Iago puts the fidelity of Othello and Desdemona’s relationship into question by tainting Othello’s perception of Desdemona’s relationship with Cassio. Othello becomes so mistrusting of Desdemona that he strangles her to death. Othello presents the duality of love in terms of platonic love versus philia, or love between friends, through Othello’s platonic relationship with Desdemona and the relationships between Cassio and Desdemona and Iago and Othello. By presenting the relationships between these characters, Othello reveals the underlying link between platonic love and philia to be commitment and honesty. Being so closely linked, the two types of love presented become indistinguishable, suggesting the relativism in perceiving love.
Othello and Desdemona embody platonic love through the depth and idyllic nature of their relationship. Platonic love, in its purest form, represents the connection of two people past the surface level desires of the flesh; it calls for a connection rooted in the mind and soul. Othello loves Desdem...


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...sibilities of platonic love. Thus, even the analysis of the love between characters is limited to the way the characters are presented rather than definite, objective evidence of the nature of love between them.
Shakespeare’s Othello not only explores the multidimensionality of love as different incarnations of honesty and commitment, but also shows the relativistic nature of love. Perspective contorts the perception of love and shows the fluid and dynamic nature of love as even Othello falls victim to the illusion presented by Iago. The conclusion to the play suggests the permeability in perceiving love is not necessarily a good thing as multiple characters die due to Othello’s inaccurate perception. Despite the changing perception, love roots itself in the constant understanding between two people that nothing outweighs devotion and transparency toward each other.

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