Analysis of The Theme of Language in William Shakespeare´s Othello

802 WordsJan 31, 20183 Pages
In Othello, one of the most interesting enigmas is the relationship between the spoken language and knowledge (or lack their of) which eventually leads to the downfall of Othello. One might contend that Othello’s lack of understanding throughout the play derives itself from the powerful, toxic language of Iago, which poisons the otherwise sound, knowledgeable mind of Othello. One might be comfortable with the idea that language has such a powerful, direct effect on human beings and can be used to both obscure and enhance understanding. However, this belief which holds language as a powerful agent directly affecting human understanding, runs into a serious complication when one considers that the loving language of Desmona fail to enhance Othello’s knowledge although Iago successfully obscures it. Thus, the enigma rises, what is the role of language in affecting human understanding in Othello? In Othello, language is an opaque, ambigous, and powerless blank space that human beings fill with their deeply-rooted and incorrect skepticisms which are subsequently realized and inflamed, causing a rejection of their world, and an obscuring of their knowledge. In this manner, Shakespeare’s Othello can be interpreted as an assertion that skepticism (within Othello) is created within one by one’s own mind and that language can very easily worsen doubt and obscure knowledge but rarely enhances knowledge or instills certainty Throughout Othello, language is an intrinsically empty and

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