Othello’s Evil Side Essay

3107 Words13 Pages
Othello’s Evil Side In the Bard of Avon’s tragic drama Othello there is a very disquieting dimension of the play; this is the evil dimension, which has such depth and intensity that it penetrates not only the mind but the body and soul of the audience. Even the imagery in the drama has its evil aspect. Kenneth Muir, in the Introduction to William Shakespeare: Othello, explains the instances of diabolic imagery in the play as they relate to the infecting of the Moor by the ancient: The same transference from Iago to Othello may be observed in what S. L. Bethell called diabolic imagery. He estimated that of the 64 images relating to hell and damnation – many of them are allusions rather than strict images –…show more content…
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 not fail to let us know what he does take seriously. When, in his fake oath of loyalty to "wrong'd Othello," he vows "The execution of his wit, hands, heart" (III.3.466), Iago's words give a clue to his truth: his heart is his malice, his hands literally wound Cassio and kill Roderigo, and his wit is the genius that creates all the strategy. (338) By an extraordinary
Open Document