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Some have found him stupid beyond redemption; others have described him as a passionate being overwhelmed by powerful emotion; still others have found him self-pitying and insensitive to the enormity of his actions.
Yet all of these denigrations pale before the excitement and sympathy generated for the noble soldier in the course of the play. As a Moor, or black man, Othello is an exotic, a foreigner from a fascinating and mysterious land.
He is passionate, but he is not devoid of sensitivity. Shakespeare uses the racial difference to many effects: His instincts are to be loving and trusting, but he is cast into a society where these natural virtues would have made him extremely vulnerable.
Iago is so evil by nature that he does not even need any motivation for his antagonism toward Othello. He has been passed over for promotion, but that is clearly a pretext for a malignant nature whose hatred for Othello needs no specific grounds. His suggestion that Othello has seduced his own wife is an even flimsier fabrication to cover his essential corruption.
Iago sees other human beings only as victims or tools. He is the classical Renaissance atheist—intelligent, beyond moral scruple, and one who finds pleasure in the corruption of the virtuous and the abuse of the pliable.
That he brings himself into danger is of no consequence, because he relies on his wit and believes that all can be duped and destroyed. There is no further purpose to his life.
For such a manipulator, Othello, a good man out of his cultural element, is the perfect target. More so than in any other Shakespeare play, one character, Iago, is the stage manager of the whole action. Once he sets out to destroy Othello, he proceeds by plot and by innuendo to achieve his goal.
He tells others just what he wishes them to know, sets one character against another, and develops an elaborate web of circumstantial evidence to dupe the vulnerable Moor. Edgar Stoll has argued that the extraordinary success of Iago in convincing other characters of his fabrications is simply a matter of the conventional ability of the Renaissance villain.
Othello is the perfect victim because he bases his opinions and his human relationships on intuition rather than reason.
His courtship of Desdemona is brief and his devotion absolute, as is his trust of his comrades, including Iago. It is not simply that Iago is universally believed.
On that subject it is only Othello whom he is able to deceive. Only Othello is deceived, but that is because Iago is able to make him play a game with unfamiliar rules. Iago entices Othello to use Venetian criteria of truth rather than the intuition on which he should rely.
From that point on, it is easy for Iago to falsify evidence and create appearances that will lead to erroneous judgments. Othello betrays hyperemotional behavior in his rantings and his fits, but these are the result of his acceptance of what seems indisputable proof.
It takes a long time, and a lot of falsifications, before Othello finally abandons his intuitive perception of the truth of his domestic situation. As Othello himself recognizes, he is not quick to anger but, once angered, his natural passion takes over.
His chilling conviction reminds readers of the essential probity of a man deranged by confrontation with an evil he cannot comprehend. Critics such as T. Eliot have argued that Othello never comes to an understanding of the gravity of his crime—that he realizes his error but consoles himself in his final speech with cheering reminders of his own virtue.
That does not, however, seem consistent with the valiant and honest military character who has thus far been depicted. Othello may have been grossly deceived, and he may be responsible for not clinging to the truth of his mutual love with Desdemona, but, in his final speech, he does face up to his error with the same passion with which he had followed his earlier misconception.
Just as he had believed that his murder of Desdemona was divine retribution, he now believes that his suicide is a just act.
His passionate nature believes it is meting out justice for the earlier transgression.Othello Critical Evaluation - Essay William Shakespeare.
Homework Help Although Othello has frequently been praised as William Shakespeare’s most unified tragedy, many critics have found the.
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Reproduction authorized essay othello with help only for some terms suggests epistemic contestation. How does the story illustrates good use of several years . Formalist Critique of Othello Essay Sample. Northrop Frye, noted literary critic, contends that tragedy is carefully outlined, particularly in the Shakespearean tragedies.
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