Othello– Commentary/Literary Criticism.

Othello A Masterpiece Of Human Emotions Othello is a brilliant tale of emotional storms that can sweep wise people off theirfeet and make them to take the actions that they would not take otherwise.

The story begins with an intention of revenge by Iago who feels jealous about Cassio, who is selected as a second man by Othello. The story takes us through a horrible journey of helplessness where we see all the characters getting poisoned with negative feelings and ruthless lies. It is an experience which remains with you for along time as it makes you to believe that evil does have a power to destroy even the strongest of the men, men having both, mental and the physical strength.

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Right from the beginning where Iago provokes Roderigo to tell Desdemona’s father about her elopement, to the end of the story where Othello kills himself, the emotional upheaval in the passionate love between Othello and Desdemona is unbearable. It is a story of betrayal and a cruelty of a sick mind.

Othello is one of the greatest tragedy where we come to know how words can create imaginations in mind and force us to go against our dearest one without even giving a chance of explanation to them. The fog of the thought that someone has betrayed our trust can make us blind. This fog is the strongest weapon that Iago uses against everyone that he spins in the web of lies. In the beginning of the storry, where Roderigo tells Brabantio about his daughter’s affair, Brabantio, instead of confirming this with his daughter, goes against her ( Shakespeare and Boorman , pg. 12). Later, when Iago tells Othello that Cassio ran after Roderigo under the influence of drinks, instead of taking Cassio’s words, Othello removes him from the position (Shakespeare and Boorman , pg. 80). Also, when Iago, through his dramatic language style, sows the seeds of doubt in the mind of Othello about Cassio’s and Desdemona’s affair, what Iago uses is not a straight lie but just hint of betrayal (Shakespeare and Boorman , pg. 110).

Othello is a classic text of understanding the human psychology. It shows us how the power of negative words and the thoughts can blind the reasoning of a wise fellow like Othello. Othello, who is brave and a wise man, and who so wisely defends himself (Shakespeare and Boorman, pg. 28) when Desdemona’s father accuses him of putting a magic spell over his daughter, can lose his wisdom at the malicious false words of Iago. The thought of betrayal also makes Desdemona’s father to be so angry that he warns Othello against his own daughter saying, “ A daughter who can betray a father can also betray a husband.” (Shakespeare, pg. 39). Such is the ego that it does not think twice before killing someone if it feels betrayed.

When Iago creates a web of lie, Othello says that he is not jealous but is feeling betrayed [1] . This feeling grows inside him and when it becomes intolerable, he takes revenge. If we look at this classic in a modern way, the only lesson that we learn is that communication is extremely important when it comes to know the truth. Othello leaves us haunting with so many thoughts like, “Why didn’t a man like Othello see the evil intention of Iago,” “Why didn’t he ask his wife before concluding something against her”, “ Why didn’t he think important to listen to Cassio’s story before removing him of his positon”, “why”? All these questions haunt you as it becomes unbearable to see people like Othello, Cassio and Desdemona getting destroyed by the evil plans of a jealous man.

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