Othello: True Love and Self-love Essay

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Othello: True Love and Self-love The William Shakespeare tragic play Othello manifests the virtue of love in all its variegated types through the assorted good and bad characters interacting with each other. H. S. Wilson in his book of literary criticism, On the Design of Shakespearean Tragedy, discusses the love of the Moor for his beloved even at the time of her murder: And when he comes to execute justice upon Desdemona, as he thinks, he has subdued his passion so that he is a compound of explosiveness tenderness. Utterly convinced of Desdemona’s guilt and of the necessity of killing her (“Yet she must die, else she’ll betray more men”), he yet loves her: This sorrow’s heavenly; It…show more content…
The images employed by Iago to describe the coupling of Othello and Desdemona are revoltingly animalistic, sodomistic. [. . .] (218) The senator is incensed by the fact that his daughter has indeed run away from home so that he must face a life of “despised time” and “bitterness.” Implied in this reaction is a very selfish type of love which he has had towards his daughter: His affection is based on what she can do for him and not what he can do for her. Later when the Duke of Venice hears the father’s accusations against the general, followed by Desdemona’s forthright, intelligent testimony of the truth, the senator reacts by virtually disowning her. The superficiality of his love for her is apparent. On the other hand, the audience perceives the ideal form of love, a very pure, exclusive love, existing between Othello and Desdemona. Blanche Coles in Shakespeare’s Four Giants elaborates: Only by realizing the great depth of their love can one grasp the enormity of Iago’s hideous crime against them. Some of the commentators tell us that it was a love in which one great soul called to another, but each reader must find his own evidence of such a love in the lines of the play. Careful study will convince him that theirs was a greater, deeper love than the impetuous love of Romeo and

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