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Essay about Othello, or the Fall of a General

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Othello, or the Fall of a General

Othello, the general and protagonist in William Shakespeare’s tragic drama Othello, is an amazing individual in many respects. Let us in this essay explore his character in depth, along with critical opinion.

Blanche Coles in Shakespeare’s Four Giants praises Othello as a superior being:

In Act I, Scene III, the “valiant Othello,” as the Duke calls him, comes into the august presence of the Venetian senators. He enters with others but can be singled out by his soldierly bearing in which there appears a certain pride in his calling but no petty self-confidence. His appearance is that of a man mellowed more by experience than by years. He is not handsome as to facial
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Indeed, this talented soldier is no mere daughter-snatcher!

When Brabantio’s pack has drawn their swords with the intent to fight, Othello calmly states: “Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them.” He is in charge; the accused controls the mob. Politely he addresses the mob leader. “Where will you that I go / To answer this your charge?” Brabantio demands prison for the general, but this conflicts with the duke’s request for the general’s presence in council. When they have reappeared before the duke, the latter greets Othello immediately and respectfully (“Valiant Othello, we must straight employ you / Against the general enemy Ottoman.”), but doesn’t even notice the senator Brabantio (“I did not see you. Welcome, gentle signior.” Noble Othello obviously outranks even the senator, in the estimation of the city’s leader.

Brabantio’s serious charges are handled expeditiously, and even trivialized by so brief a consideration by the august body, who quickly rally around the general. The duke tells Brabantio, “Your son-in-law is far more fair than black” – a compliment to Othello’s virtue and upstanding performance both presently in front of the senators and previously in battles.

Cassio’s ship lands first in Cyprus, before Iago’s and the general’s. While the lieutenant is
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