Othello: the General and His Fall Essay examples

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Othello: the General and His Fall The noble Othello in the Shakespearean play of that name has no one to blame but himself; his suicide results. Is his downfall resulting from his naivete and gullibility? Let us study and expose this famous character in this essay. Francis Ferguson in “Two Worldviews Echo Each Other” describes how Othello carries out Iago’s plan of destruction: Othello moves to kill Desdemona (Act V, scene 2) with that “icy current and compulsive course” which he had felt at the end of Act III, scene 3. We hear once more the music and the cold, magnificent images that express his “perfect soul”: Yet I’ll not shed her blood, Nor scar that whiter skin of hers than snow,…show more content…
And as the full enormity of his deed dawns upon him in the great scene of tragic self-revelation at the end, the audience may perhaps experience catharsis, that purgation of the soul brought about by an almost unbearable pity for him and his victims, and by terror at what human nature is capable of and what pitfalls await us in life. Throughout the play, the audience posses the information which Iago's victim does not have; the viewers know all along what Othello does not know. From that omniscient view, they look upon this tortured human being with a strong sense of the irony and tragedy of his position. (39) From the text of the play a number of clues can be gleaned which round out the description of the general. In William Shakespeare: The Tragedies, Paul A. Jorgensen describes the general in Othello: Though scarcely the “barbarian” (1.3.353) he is called, the Moor is emphatically black, probably rough, even fearsome, in appearance, and a foreign mercenary from Mauritania in refined Venice. Though of royal blood, since the age of seven he had a restrictive, painful life, being sold into slavery and spending most of his life in “the tented field” (1.3.85). His “occupation” (3.3.357), to a degree found in no other Shakespearean hero, is war. He can
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