Othello the Outsider Essay

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Othello the Outsider

Shakespeare's tragic hero, Othello, was a man whose gifts far outnumbered his weaknesses. On the battlefield, he was accomplished; in his profession, he was highly ranked; and, in his life, he was blissfully married. Despite these great advantages, however, Othello's destiny was ruin. Everything he had so carefully made for himself would be destroyed by one flaw: his fear of remaining an outsider. He feared this fate, yet he harped on it continuously, tearing himself between his identity as a foreigner and his desire to live as a normal citizen. Even so far back as his first public speech, perturbations caused by this internal unrest surfaced, and it was unrest that would ultimately lead to his horrible and
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If used too often, the approach turns from rhetoric into reality, and the speaker truly is set apart. This method of appeal is used in many places by Othello, sometimes in regular conversation, which leads to the feeling that he actually believes it. Later on, when Iago needs to prey upon a weakness in our hero, this self-doubt turns out to be just the key to instilling distrust and jealousy.

As this first portion of self-effacement ends, the text sweeps into a section of grand language and imagery. Othello becomes picturesque for a moment, stating, "For since these arms of mine had seven years' pith / Till now some nine moons wasted, they have used / Their dearest action in the tented field; / And little of this great world can I speak / More than pertains to feats of broils and battle" (page 19). Every line in this passage contains a descriptor of either vast time or vast expanse. The images produced by the use of words that describe large things deliver a spacious, worldly subtext-meaning to Othello's literal meaning. Words such as, "seven years, moons, field, and great world" create an extensive, cosmopolitan view of his life that conflicts with the literal meaning of his speech, where he is bluntly saying that he does not know about anything beyond battle.

The short, artistic detour of the middle of the speech is quickly focused back on topic, though, and it only takes one line before

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