Essay on Othello’s Diabolism

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Othello’s Diabolism In Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello, there is present through most of the play such an overwhelming amount of evil that the audience can scarcely remain undisturbed. Alvin Kernan’s “Othello: an Introduction” explains the diabolism existing under the name of “honest Iago”: “Honest Iago” conceals beneath the exterior of the plain soldier and blunt, practical man of the world a diabolism so intense as to defy rational explanation – it must be taken like lust or pride as simply a given part of human nature, an anti-life spirit which seeks the destruction of everything outside the self. (75) Even the imagery in the drama has its evil aspect. Kenneth Muir, in the Introduction to…show more content…
The second is that such evil is compatible, and even appears to ally itself easily, with exceptional powers of will and intellect. (216) H. S. Wilson in his book of literary criticism, On the Design of Shakespearean Tragedy, addresses the character of the general’s ancient: With such a man everything is food for his malice. There is no appeasing him. His ego feeds upon the misfortunes he contrives for others, and what he feeds on only makes him hungrier. He is proof against pity and remorse alike, as his last interview with Desdemona and his sullen defiance of his captors at the end only too painfully show us. In short, he is the demi-devil that Othello finally calls him, half a devil and half a man; yet the littleness in each of his components is formidable, spider-like, and appallingly human besides. (54) In the essay “Wit and Witchcraft: an Approach to Othello” Robert B. Heilman unveils the evil awaiting the reader in Othello: Reason as an ally of evil is a subject to which Shakespeare keeps returning, as if fascinated, but in different thematic forms as he explores different counter-forces. ]. . .] Although Iago, as we saw, does not take seriously the ennobling power of love, he does

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