They are questions as old as civilization itself. Does man have control over his own destiny? Is man ultimately held accountable for his actions by a higher power? Within the plays of William Shakespeare can be found such fundamental questions and conflicts of humanity, as well as situations, attitudes, and problems that continue to hold strong universal meaning to this day. During his lifetime, morality was at the forefront of society's concerns. Outstanding men such as Newton, Copernicus, Bacon, and Locke were leading great advances in science and reason, and these new ways of thinking, combined with the need for order and religious stability provided the perfect foundation for the development of the morality-based style of writing which is especially evident in his powerful tragedies.
..........Shakespeare's tragic heroes and villains have flaws which are synonymous with Christian sins. Greed, lust, envy, and jealousy are consistently among the issues that arise with these characters. The idea that improper dealings with such evil emotions must surely lead to a terrible fate is consistently demonstrated. Sylvan Barnet notes that after creating this world of certain consequences the author adds a special "twist" to his tragedy "for it insists that the good are rewarded and the bad are punished" (227). In William Shakespeare's classic tragedy, Othello, the playwright emphasizes the belief in man's inability to control his own destiny because of the actions of rivals, the emotional conflict within himself, and the moral guidance of the universe.
..........From the onset of this tragic play, conflict begins to brew in the soul of the title character's ensign, Iago. ...
... middle of paper ...
...use of the actions of rivals, the emotional conflict within himself, and the moral guidance of the universe.
I......Iago plants the seeds of hate.
.......A..... Iago plots against Othello.
......B......Others are affected by Iago's web of revenge.
......C......Coincidence and opportunities for deceit arise.
II.....Emotional conflict brews within the minds of the characters.
......A......Othello struggles with trust and honor.
......B......Iago is a product of his own insecurities.
......C......Roderigo, Emelia, and Cassio fight their emotions.
III....In a triumph of morality, God's justice prevails.
.......A.....Desdemona dies an innocent death, and Othello commits suicide.
.......B......Cassio's honor is reinstated.
.......C. ....Iago declares his silence and realizes his punishment.
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