Five Works Cited William Shakespeare’s tragic drama Othello presents to the audience a very abnormal character in the person of Iago. Also can one classify the epileptic seizure of Othello as normal? Let us in this essay consider the abnormal in the play.
The abnormal behavior of the ancient is partly rooted in his misogynism. In “Historical Differences: Misogyny and Othello” Valerie Wayne implicates Iago in sexism. He is one who is almost incapable of any other perspective on women than a sexist one:
Iago’s worry that he cannot do what Desdemona asks implies that his dispraise of women was candid and easily produced, while the praise requires labour and inspiration from a source beyond himself. His insufficiency is more surprising because elsewhere in the play Iago appears as a master rhetorician, but as Bloch explains, ‘the misogynistic writer uses rhetoric as a means of renouncing it, and, by extension, woman.’ (163)
And how about epilepsy? In Act 4 the evil Iago works up Othello into a frenzy regarding the missing kerchief. The resultant illogical, senseless raving by the general is a prelude to an epileptic seizure or entranced state:
Lie with her? lie on her? – We say lie on her when they belie her. – Lie with her! Zounds, that’s fulsome. – Handkerchief – confessions – handkerchief! – To confess, and be hanged for his labor – first to be hanged, and then to confess! I tremble at it. [. . .] (4.1)
Cassio enters right after the general has fallen into the epileptic trance. Iago explains to him:
IAGO. My lord is fall’n into an epilepsy.
This is his second fit; he had one yesterday.
CASSIO. Rub him about the temples.
IAGO. No, forbear.
The lethargy must have his quie...
... middle of paper ...
...l find Iago peeping out from many of its pages. Still more, Iago’s name will be found appearing occasionally in bold print in books on abnormal psychology. (89-90)
Bevington, David, ed. William Shakespeare: Four Tragedies. New York: Bantam Books, 1980.
Campbell, Lily B. Shakespeare’s Tragic Heroes. New York: Barnes and Noble, Inc., 1970.
Coles, Blanche. Shakespeare’s Four Giants. Rindge, New Hampshire: Richard Smith Publisher, 1957.
Shakespeare, William. Othello. In The Electric Shakespeare. Princeton University. 1996. http://www.eiu.edu/~multilit/studyabroad/othello/othello_all.html No line nos.
Wayne, Valerie. “Historical Differences: Misogyny and Othello.” The Matter of Difference: Materialist Feminist Criticism of Shakespeare. Ed Valerie Wayne. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1991.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Othello: the Abnormal Behaviors and Happenings The audience finds in William Shakespeare’s tragic drama Othello a curious collection of abnormal behaviors and happenings. In this paper let us examine in detail the abnormalities. In her book, Everybody’s Shakespeare: Reflections Chiefly on the Tragedies, Maynard Mack defends the Moor as one who is not necessarily the victim of a psychological deficiency, as some critics maintain: What should be noticed in particular is that, essentially, Shakespeare invented Iago; set him down in his dramatis personae with the single epithet “a villain”; and devoted most of the play’s lines and scenes to showing in detail the cunning, ma... [tags: Othello essays]
1895 words (5.4 pages)
- Abnormal Psychology and Iago in Othello When the Bard of Avon created the evil Iago in the tragedy Othello, he entered into the area of irrational behavior and abnormal psychology. This essay will examine this branch of science as it relates to the play. David Bevington in William Shakespeare: Four Tragedies describes the irrationality and self-destructiveness of the ancient’s behavior: Emilia understands that jealousy is not a rational affliction but a self-induced disease of the mind.... [tags: Othello essays]
1241 words (3.5 pages)
- Othello and Different Senses of Abnormal As inconsequential as they may initially seem, the various types of abnormalities in William Shakespeare’s tragic drama Othello do impact upon the audience. Let us explore this subject of the deviant in this play. In the essay “Wit and Witchcraft: an Approach to Othello” Robert B. Heilman discusses the abnormal attitude and plans of the ancient as manifested in his verbal imagery: If we take all the lines of one character out of context and consider them as a unit, we have always a useful body of information; but if, when we study Iago’s lines, we find that he consistently describes himself in images of hunting and trapping, we le... [tags: Othello essays]
2092 words (6 pages)
- The Abnormal and Unusual in Othello In how many Shakespearean tragedies is there a noble hero will falls into an epileptic seizure – as we find in Othello. Let us consider some of the more abnormal occurrences in the drama. In Act 4 the evil Iago works up Othello into a frenzy regarding the missing kerchief. The resultant illogical, senseless raving by the general is a prelude to an epileptic seizure or entranced state: Lie with her. lie on her. – We say lie on her when they belie her.... [tags: Othello essays]
1609 words (4.6 pages)
- The Abnormal Aspect of Othello Let us in this essay discuss the abnormal outlook on life found in Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello. Is a distorted view on life expressed only by the villain. Iago is generally recognized as the one character possessing and operating by abnormal psychology. But Lily B. Campbell in Shakespeare’s Tragic Heroes tells of the time when the hero himself approached “madness”: Othello himself cries: thou hast set me on the rack. I swear ‘t is better to be much abus’d Than but to know a little.... [tags: Othello essays]
1422 words (4.1 pages)
- To what extent is the science of abnormal psychology involved in the characterization in William Shakespeare’s tragic drama Othello. This essay will answer that question. Blanche Coles in Shakespeare’s Four Giants affirms the Bard’s commitment to abnormal psychology, and his employment of same in this play: That Shakespeare was keenly interested in the study of the abnormal mind is commonly accepted among students. [. . .] The suggestion that Iago may have been intentionally drawn as a psychopathic personality is not new.... [tags: Othello essays]
1108 words (3.2 pages)
- For the analysis of the passage, I have selected Scene I from Othello, which is the play of William Shakespeare. In Scene, I Act I of Othello, the untimely switching over between Iago, Roderigo, and Brabantio can be seen. This dialogue is about the suspected love among Desdemona, and Othello. Desdemona is the daughter of Brabantio, while Othello is named as the black Moor. This elaborates the approaches that highlight the extent to which race had become a significant motif, and it had greatly influenced by the improvement and progress of the plot.... [tags: Othello, Iago, William Shakespeare, Desdemona]
1354 words (3.9 pages)
- Othello: the Abnormalities in the Play William Shakespeare’s tragic drama Othello boasts quite a little list of abnormalities in both occurrences and personal behavior. In the volume Shakespeare and Tragedy John Bayley explains how the abnormality of the protagonist’s behavior brings on rejection by the critics: In our own time more genteel, but also more intellectualized versions of Rymer’s disfavour have been voiced by T.S. Eliot and F.R. Leavis, who both consider and reject the personality that Othello presents to the outside world, pointing out that he is not so much deceived as a self-deceiver, a man presented by Shakespeare as constitutionally incapable of seeing... [tags: Othello essays]
2012 words (5.7 pages)
- Iago the Conniver in Othello If there were more than one evil presence in Shakespeare’s Othello who had the intensity of Iago, the play would be unbearably pessimistic. Let us examine the character who is unexcelled in his evil ways. Lily B. Campbell in Shakespeare’s Tragic Heroes expounds on the self-centered philosophy of Iago: To Iago love is merely “a lust of the blood and a permission of the will”. Self-love, which is in the thinking of Shakespeare’s day the mother of all vices, is the only love that Iago respects.... [tags: Othello essays]
2179 words (6.2 pages)
- Othello’s Iago We find in William Shakespeare’s tragic play Othello an example of personified evil. He is the general’s ancient, Iago, and he wreaks havoc and destruction on all those under his influence. Louis B. Wright and Virginia A. LaMar in “The Engaging Qualities of Othello” comment on how the character of Iago is the wholly expected type of villain for an Elizabethan audience: Iago at once captures the attention of the spectator. He is the personification of the villain that Elizabethans had come to expect from Italian short stories and from Machiavellian commentary.... [tags: Othello essays]
1668 words (4.8 pages)