The Theme Of Death In Othello and A Doll's House Essays

The Theme Of Death In Othello and A Doll's House Essays

Length: 1068 words (3.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

     The theme of death is present in many works of literature. It is given metaphors and cloaked with different meanings, yet it always represents an end. Every end signifies a new beginning, and every death gives rise to a new birth. Physical death “...is mere transformation, not destruction,” writes Ding Ming-Dao. “What dies is merely the identity, the identification of a collection of parts that we called a person. What dies is only our human meaning” (49). Figuratively speaking, death symbolizes a change, an interruption or cessation of regular routine. In this sense, death can be viewed as a more positive occurrence, because change leads to new experience, which, in turn, leads to knowledge and a better understanding of life. The plays Othello and A Doll House both encompass the theme of death. While the former deals with physical death, the latter depicts a change, a transformation of a period of time and a way of life.
     Shakespeare’s Othello is a tragedy. The villain gains trust by appearing honest and, taking advantage of being undoubted, implants false ideas into Othello’s mind, causing him to believe in an illusion that portrays the opposite of reality. Shakespeare shows, by setting his plays in either antiquity or modernity, the evolution of human thought. His characters in antiquity acquire things through war and conquest, and are hasty in action and judgement. In modernity, however, the characters live in a regime that practices acquisition through trade and commerce. Logically, the characters in modernity are superior to the ones in antiquity. They prefer trade to war, and display logic through their actions. Because Shakespeare set his modern plays in Italy or England, Othello can be classified as a modern play. However, there are some elements of antiquity present in it,

such as Othello’s murderous act. Not being logical, Othello looks at the imposed circumstances only through Iago’s perspective, and is completely overtaken by the lies. Emilia’s opinion on the matter doesn’t make any difference, because his mind is already made up by the time he speaks to her. Thus, Othello’s ability to reason is not very well-developed. How strong was he really, when his faith in groundless implications created such a rift in his character during the temptation scene, that he ended up murdering his...


... middle of paper ...


...d fallen in love with her image of him. With this realization, Nora “dies” in the sense that she is reborn with a new understanding of herself. Death is symbolized through the end of her ignorant days, her marriage to Torvald, and the life she had known. She is reborn through enlightenment, with a desire to discover and

understand herself, before anything else.
     Whether physical or figurative, death adds a new dimension to Othello and A Doll House. Its presence gives the reader an eerie feeling and intensifies the depth of the plays. As readers, we wonder about the significance of death, and muse over what went on in the heads of Nora and, especially, Othello during the moment of truth. Nora believed in the illusion, whereas Othello was fooled into believing in it. They both went through a transformation, a step higher in consciousness, to a new beginning. Death is a link in the chain of life. Death as change or demise is often feared, because one doesn’t know what to expect. It is said that the best way to banish an enemy is to make it a friend. The concept of death, if understood, will unleash immortality.      



Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Essay on Analysis Of ' Othello ' And ' A Doll 's House '

- In both Othello by Shakespeare and A Dolls House by Ibsen, reputation is valued more then anything else. The characters need a good reputation in order to secure social status. They also fear that they will be seen in a negative image without a good reputation and they use reputation to appear as something that they are not. In both plays, reputation does not reflect one’s true self. To begin with, Cassio in Shakespeare’s Othello and Torvald in Ibsen’s A Doll’s House both display that reputation plays a major role in their social status....   [tags: Othello, Iago, A Doll's House, Henrik Ibsen]

Strong Essays
1479 words (4.2 pages)

Essay on Love and Death in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and Othello

- Romeo and Juliet’s and Othello’s plots are both tragedy. These plays are focused on the destruction of the main relationships within of the plays. In Othello, the main relationship in the play is around Othello and his bride Desdemona. Othello, because of his jealous rage, murders wife who he later finds to be innocent. Romeo and Juliet, which is named for the featured couple, kill themselves in order to be together in an afterlife. They take their own lives because the world around them will not allow them to be together....   [tags: Romeo, Juliet, Othello]

Strong Essays
1330 words (3.8 pages)

The Theme Of Recurring Themes Of Shakespeare 's Othello Essay

- Shakespeare is prominent in his use of recurring themes throughout his works, particularly those of love, death, and betrayal. All these themes are present in Othello. Most para- mount, however, is jealousy. Jealousy runs the characters’ lives in Othello from the beginning of the play, when Roderigo is envi- ous of Othello because he wishes to be with Desdemona, and to the end of the play, when Othello is furious with envy because he believes Cassio and Desdemona have been engaging in an affair....   [tags: Othello, Iago, Brabantio, Desdemona]

Strong Essays
1626 words (4.6 pages)

William Shakespeare 's Othello - Love, Death And Revenge Essay

- William Shakespeare has repeatedly used the themes of love, death and revenge in his plays. Othello is a play that played a host to all these themes. Jealousy, however, was the theme that stood out the most and stirred the plot toward one of the most astonishing tragedies in Shakespearian history. Shakespeare’s use of Jealousy was necessary to send a message about how jealousy is a ticking bomb when triggered it can inflict the relationships between human beings and lead to the tragic downfall of a human being....   [tags: Othello, Iago, William Shakespeare, Tragedy]

Strong Essays
951 words (2.7 pages)

The Theme of Escape in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House Essay

- Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House”, a tragic play set in the late 1800’s, is one women’s realization of her life as merely that of a doll living out her life as an object in a world dominated by the males around her. Ibsen points the reader in the right direction to the deeper meaning of the play in the title. The title “A Doll’s House”, a metaphor, causes the reader or watcher of the play to think what deeper meaning lies ahead. The play takes place in the living room of Torvald and Nora Helmer’s apartment on Christmas Eve....   [tags: A Doll’s House Essays]

Strong Essays
1037 words (3 pages)

Essay on The Theme of Jealousy in Othello by William Shakespeare

- The Theme of Jealousy in Othello by William Shakespeare Othello is a unique tragedy in that it focuses on the destruction of love through sexual jealousy. Jealousy is not inherited in a person, but developed from the fatal factors of their character. Othello is plagued with his ego and pride which contributes to his demise. Othello is, however, a truly romantic character because he is very passionate and full of deep feelings. It keeps a person wondering what could have possibly brought the sweet Desdemona to be his wife....   [tags: Papers Othello Shakespeare Essays]

Strong Essays
2005 words (5.7 pages)

Essay on Redemption in Death in Othello

- Redemption in Death in Othello      The brilliance of a tragedy lies in its ability to maintain its moral and the values it explores even in the tragic ending or in the downfall of its heroes. William Shakespeare does just this Othello, so quintessentially that the deaths in the end do not only refrain from undermining or canceling out the virtues of the play, but they actually restore them to the deceased, who have died because they have lost them.  In this play, love, loyalty, and honesty are of foremost importance in the human condition, and when those are questioned or lost, chaos ensues.  The tragedy lies in the fact that the truth is revealed only too late, and because of this only...   [tags: Othello essays]

Strong Essays
1552 words (4.4 pages)

Glass Menagerie, Death Of A Salesman, Oedipus Rex Theme Essay

- The Glass Menagerie, The Death of a Salesman, and Oedipus Rex are complex, deep stories that any reader can enjoy. The Glass Menagerie is a story about a family of three, a mother, a son, and a daughter who all struggle to cope with how their lives turned out. They sometimes reminisce of a happier life or a way to somehow escape life itself. The Death of a Salesman is about a depressed man named Willy who often has day dreams of what he perceives as a perfect life. Willy is angry with his life and wishes his children would be more successful....   [tags: Compare Contrast Literature Theme]

Free Essays
1634 words (4.7 pages)

The Theme of The Death of Ivan Ilych Essay

- The Theme of The Death of Ivan Ilych One Work Cited In "The Death of Ivan Ilych", Leo Tolstoy examines the life of a man, Ivan, who would seem to have lived an exemplary life with moderate wealth, high station, and family. By story's end, however, Ivan's life will be shown to be devoid of passion -- a life of duties, responsibilities, respect, work, and cold objectivity to everything and everyone around Ivan. It is not until Ivan is on his death bed in his final moments that he realizes what will become the major theme of the story: that the personal relationships we forge are more important in life than who we are or what we own....   [tags: Tolstoy Death Ivan Ilych Essays]

Free Essays
613 words (1.8 pages)

Theme of Death in White Noise Essay examples

- White Noise Death is probably the most feared word in the English language. Its undesired uncertainty threatens society’s desire to believe that life never ends. Don DeLillo’s novel White Noise tells the bizarre story of how Jack Gladney and his family illustrate the postmodern ideas of religion, death, and popular culture. The theme of death’s influence over the character mentality, consumer lifestyle, and media manipulation is used often throughout DeLillo’s story.      Perhaps, the character most responsive to death is Jack Gladney....   [tags: White Noise Don DeLillo Death Novels Essays]

Strong Essays
1099 words (3.1 pages)