Essay about Othello: the Moral and the Immoral

Essay about Othello: the Moral and the Immoral

Length: 2209 words (6.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

Othello: the Moral and the Immoral  

 
    William Shakespeare’s tragic play Othello presents a full range of both moral and immoral activities through Iago, Desdemona, Othello, Bianca, Cassio, etc.

 

The moral and immoral dimension of Othello, especially the latter, is enhanced simply by its location in Italy. Louis B. Wright and Virginia A. LaMar in “The Engaging Qualities of Othello” comment on how the exotic setting of this play satisfied the Elizabethan dramatist’s dream of portraying evil:

 

Elizabethan dramatists were fond of portraying characters of consummate evil, and if they could lay the scenes in Italy, all the better, because the literature and legend of the day were filled with stories of the wickedness of Italy. [. . .] Venice especially had a glamor and an interest beyond the normal. Every returning traveler had a tall tale to tell about the beauty and complaisance of Venetian women, the passion, jealousy, and quick anger of Venetian men, and the bloody deeds of Venetian bravoes. (127)

 

Even the remarkably good wife of the Moor is not without her weak moments, so that even she cannot be considered “perfect”. Angela Pitt in “Women in Shakespeare’s Tragedies” comments on Desdemona’s faults:

 

Once married, she continues to commit slight offences against the correct code of conduct for the ideal wife. She is no sooner married than she leaves hearth and home (the traditional limits of the woman’s realm) to be with Othello. She sees Cassio without her husband’s permission and is far too concerned with Cassio’s request. Her plan of how she will discuss the matter with Othello at every moment so that even ‘his bed shall seem a school’, shows far too much self-possession and strong ...


... middle of paper ...


...es, Blanche. Shakespeare’s Four Giants. Rindge, New Hampshire: Richard Smith Publisher, 1957.

 

Jorgensen, Paul A. William Shakespeare: The Tragedies. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1985.

 

Pitt, Angela. “Women in Shakespeare’s Tragedies.” Readings on The Tragedies. Ed. Clarice Swisher. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1996. Reprint from Shakespeare’s Women. N.p.: n.p., 1981.

 

Shakespeare, William. Othello. In The Electric Shakespeare. Princeton University. 1996. http://www.eiu.edu/~multilit/studyabroad/othello/othello_all.html No line nos.

 

Wright, Louis B. and Virginia A. LaMar. “The Engaging Qualities of Othello.” Readings on The Tragedies. Ed. Clarice Swisher. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1996. Reprint from Introduction to The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice by William Shakespeare. N. p.: Simon and Schuster, Inc., 1957.

 

 

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Othello: Moral and Immoral Aspects of the Play Essay

- Othello: Moral and Immoral Aspects of the Play         Certain aspects of the moral dimension of the Shakespearean tragedy Othello are obvious to the audience, for example, the identity of the most immoral character. Other aspects are not so noticeable. Let us in this essay consider in depth this dimension of the drama.   Francis Ferguson in “Two Worldviews Echo Each Other” describes the deception of Iago: how he paints as evil a guiltless association between Cassio and Desdemona:   The main conflict of the play is a strange one, for Othello cannot see his opponent until too late....   [tags: GCSE Coursework Shakespeare Othello]

Term Papers
2368 words (6.8 pages)

Othello, By William Shakespeare Essay

- In Shakespeare’s play Othello, the male characters perceive women as adulterous and property, treating them as inferior that need to be submissive and obey. Iago creates a false perception of his wife thinking she is promiscuous. Also, Othello sees his wife as promiscuous, an impression created by his jealousy and one he has convinced himself of it. Furthermore, Iago and Othello perceive their wives as inferior, and by his words, the reader can see that they are both their wife and subordinate. At last, the male characters refer to Desdemona’s marriage as a “steal” and “purchase” of property, then, Iago and Othello end their wives’ lives because they see them as possessions of no good....   [tags: Othello, Iago, Marriage, Desdemona]

Term Papers
781 words (2.2 pages)

Essay on Hamlet And Othello By William Shakespeare

- It is a common phenomenon that an evil character is put in a play to create a conflict. This has been done in many plays written by Shakespeare. In some of his plays it is very difficult to tell who the evil character is due to certain dynamics. This difficulty in deciphering who the good and bad people are also occurs in real life. On the other hand it can be very clear to see who is evil and who is not. In Shakespeare’s play King Lear Cornwall is undeniably evil but in Hamlet and Othello there seems to be some controversy....   [tags: Love, Hamlet, Othello, Characters in Hamlet]

Term Papers
2328 words (6.7 pages)

Othello, By William Shakespeare Essay

- In the play Othello, Iago’s eventual triumph forms the play rather than the downfall of Othello. Iago’s cunning trickery, smart schemes and evil manipulation unfold eventual tragedies and his ‘triumph’. His insatiable desire for revenge and constant deception is the foundation of the play, Othello. Therefore, it can be said, it is not so much Othello’s downfall that we witness but Iago’s triumph, as the play depicts the power of words, which is evident in the characterisation of Iago. It is because of his triumph, we see a tragedy he forms as he plays on human vulnerabilities, weaknesses and insecurities....   [tags: Othello, Iago, Brabantio, Desdemona]

Term Papers
877 words (2.5 pages)

Innocence vs. Immorality in Othello Essay

- Innocence vs. Immorality in Othello        In William Shakespeare’s tragic drama Othello we find a wide array of moral and immoral conduct, a full range of life’s goodness and badness. Let us in this paper examine the specific types of each, and how they affect the outcome.   In Shakespeare’s Four Giants Blanche Coles comments on the lack of veracity in Iago’s speech:   The story that Iago tells Roderigo about the promotion of Cassio over him is not true, although it has been accepted by many discriminating scholars....   [tags: Othello essays]

Term Papers
1382 words (3.9 pages)

Moral Issues in Shakespeare’s Othello, Bronte’s Jane Eyre and Shelley’s Frankenstein

- The presentation of moral issues in Othello establishes that during the Renaissance period some writers challenged the traditional Elizabethan society. For instance, in Cinthio’s story Iago was a minor villain; however, Shakespeare transformed him into the Machiavellian that Is most memorable for his deception and downfall. Whereas, the presentation of moral issues in Frankenstein presents moral theory’s such as Unitarianism and the Theory of Natural Rights as inherent to which the characters face moral issues of their time....   [tags: Othello, Jane Eyre, Frankenstein]

Term Papers
2523 words (7.2 pages)

Othello: Iago's Soliloquies and Intentions Essay

- Iago’s Soliloquies and Intentions In every play there is at least one character that jumps of the page and begs for your attention. In The Tragedy of Othello by William Shakespeare this character is Iago. Iago is a devious man, liar, manipulator, and psychopath. It seems as though in the world of Shakespeare there is always consent power struggles throughout almost all his plays (list several examples) However, to me the most interesting of all of these, is in the play Othello. Where Iago seeks revenge on an unknowing Othello....   [tags: Tragedy of Othello, Shakespeare]

Term Papers
1024 words (2.9 pages)

The Morally Good and Bad in Othello Essays

- The Morally Good and Bad in Othello        William Shakespeare’s drama Othello is one concentrated contest between the forces of the morally good and the morally bad. Let us analyze this contest in detail in this essay.   Standing out like a dark silhouette on a white background is the sinister character and master of deception in the drama – the general’s ancient. Morton W. Bloomfield and Robert C. Elliott  in Great Plays: Sophocles to Brecht highlight the dominant evil force in the play, Iago:   For critics, the chief problem in the play is the character of Iago....   [tags: Othello essays]

Term Papers
1708 words (4.9 pages)

Good and Bad in Othello Essay

- Good and Bad in Othello         A huge battle between good and evil is waged the William Shakespeare’s drama Othello. In this essay let us study the many facets of these two dimensions as presented through the words and actions of the characters.   Can the protagonist, who has committed a double killing in the last scene, be saved. In William Shakespeare: The Tragedies, Paul A. Jorgensen discusses the theology of the final scene:   It is better not to look too anxiously into the theology of the outcome....   [tags: Othello essays]

Term Papers
1547 words (4.4 pages)

Deception in Shakespeare's Othello Essay

- Deception in Shakespeare’s “Othello”      One may readily perceive the theme of Shakespeare’s “Othello” as deception. Deception appears many times in Othello, but in almost every incident the degree of deception is different. Deception is to “deceive another, illusion, or fraud” (Webster’s New World Pocket Dictionary 69), which is seen as a wrongful act. However, deception may be used to protect someone from getting hurt therefore being used with good intentions.      The very first act of deception is done by the character Desdemona....   [tags: Othello Shakespeare Deception]

Term Papers
677 words (1.9 pages)