Othello and the Force of Love Essay

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Othello and the Force of Love

The William Shakespeare tragedy Othello features various types of love, but none compare to the love we find between the protagonist and his wife. In this essay let us examine “love” as found in the play.

In her book, Everybody’s Shakespeare: Reflections Chiefly on the Tragedies, Maynard Mack comments on the love that exists between the hero and heroine:

Magical in my view, though I know how far opinions differ on this point, as a way of asking us to recognize that the love these lovers share before Iago’s corruption sets in does indeed have magic in its web, contains a “work” (3.3.296) that a relationship like Cassio’s and Bianca’s can never match or “take out,” commands a
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Roderigo construes Iago’s love for him as based on the ancient’s hatred for the Moor. Thus the wealthy suitor says accusingly, “Thou told'st me thou didst hold him in thy hate.” And Iago responds, “Despise me, if I do not.” Partly out of hatred for the general and partly out of proving his faithfulness to Roderigo’s cause, Iago asserts in detail the reasons for his hatred of Othello, who has given the lieutenancy to Michael Cassio, a Florentine. Secondly, Iago suggests that Roderigo and he awake and disturb Brabantio, the father of Desdemona:

Call up her father,

Rouse him: make after him, poison his delight,

Proclaim him in the streets; incense her kinsmen,

And, though he in a fertile climate dwell,

Plague him with flies: though that his joy be joy,

Yet throw such changes of vexation on't,

As it may lose some colour. (1.1)

Thus a hue and cry is raised in front of the senator’s residence – partly for the sake of Iago proving his love for Roderigo so that the financial rewards will continue coming to the soldier. Once the senator has been awakened, Iago makes a series of loud, crude, bawdy allegations against both the general and Desdemona. Strangely, the senator is not incensed by these, but rather by the fact that his daughter has indeed run away from home so that the father must
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