Irregularities in Othello

1716 WordsJul 17, 20187 Pages
Irregularities in Othello The Shakespearean tragedy Othello contains various irregularities of time and occurrence which cause the audience to scratch their head in wonder and doubt. Let us analyze some of these shortcomings in this essay. In the Introduction to The Riverside Shakespeare Frank Kermode explains one of the difficulties in Othello: Othello murders his wife on the second night in Cyprus. The difficulty, of which Shakespeare was clearly aware, arises from the fact that this leaves no time for her to have had “stol’n hours of lust,” certainly not to have enjoyed them repeatedly, as Iago alleges. In such allusions to frequent adultery as III.iii.340-43 and V.ii.211-12, Shakespeare slides over…show more content…
It presents the general as an inconsistent character, unable to control his feelings at this time even though he has a hundred previous times controlled his feelings in exemplary fashion, in the manner of a general. In her book, Everybody’s Shakespeare: Reflections Chiefly on the Tragedies, Maynard Mack comments on the impropriety of the general’s treatment: Here time present, in which Desdemona speaks and sings, and time future, in which we know she (like Barbary) is to die from an absolute fidelity to her intuition of what love is and means, recede even as we watch into a lost time past, when Desdemona had a mother and all love’s agonies and complexities could be comprehended in a song. A song moreover, bringing to her consciousness the sheltered world in which she grew up, now balanced beside the world she chose. In that other world, her husband might have been a Venetian gentleman, someone like Lodovico perhaps – “a proper man,” she confides to Emilia – such a man as surely would never strike his wife in public or humiliate her in private as a common prostitute? (132) Is it logical for the hero to switch from his initial attitude toward his wife (“As this that I have reach'd: for know, Iago, / But that I love the gentle Desdemona”) to one of total distrust -- even after Emilia assures him that there has been no opportunity for the unfaithfulness of which she is accused? OTHELLO. You have seen nothing then? EMILIA. Nor

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