Othello Swan Song

The following example essay on “Othello Swan Song” is a literary analysis of Shakespeare’s work. Attention is paid to the plot and the protagonist of the drama Othello.

In William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice he presents his character of Othello as having all the great qualities of a true leader, but also a man who lacks any type of reasoning power. Othello being the ideal hero has strength, prowess, and battlefield knowledge. However these ideas of leadership do not translate well into situations in the real world and in this case, situations dealing with the heart.

The battlefield and senate are where Othello feel most comfortable.

They are places of truth where men go to be honest about matters of war. As well, these matters of war and state are relatively simple and are subjects in which Othello can relate. This simple view that Othello has, does not bode well for him on the subject of true love and passion.

His marriage is one based on stories and he never really examines who his true friends are. In Othello’s mind he is loved by everyone he knows. This examination of Othello’s character would show that he means well and leads even better, but he lacks judgment skills and common sense.

This is most evident in his final speech before he commits suicide, where even though his end is proper, he never fully realizes what he has done, or takes responsibility for what has just happened.

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It is clear that Othello loves Desdemona, and the quote “One who loved not wisely, but too well” (Shakespeare V. ii. 353) is directed mainly at her. When he does come to realize the truth behind Desdemona’s innocence, Othello is legitimately tortured. “This look of thine will hurl my soul from heaven / And friends will snatch at it” (V. ii. 283-284) It is obvious that he tormented by the fact that he has just killed his wife.

It is now for the first time seen that maybe Othello is at a loss of what to do with his power “Do you go back to dismayed? Tis a lost fear: / Man but a rush against Othello’s breast, / And he retires. ” (V. ii. 279-280) This is not Othello’s usual hard grit style, but this is how the way a man of nobility should react when he has mistakenly taken the life of his wife. Yet Othello’s words in his speech give a deeper thought into how he still doesn’t seen to fully understand the situation. “Who can control his fate? ” (V. ii. 274) he asked, which shows he is not taking full responsibility, placing the responsibility on the heavens.

It is beyond a doubt that Othello is in fact the one to blame, though he still cannot recognize his failure at reasoning. Though the final words of Othello are excellent, they like Othello himself, are flawed. Every sentence seems to reveal a character flaw or personal problem. When he says he “loved not wisely, but too well” this is also true in terms of Iago. Othello’s marriage is based solely on stories and on pity. Othello objectifies his wife and shows no trust in her. It is debatable whether Othello is gullible, but he does buy Iago’s deceitful tale of Cassio’s affair.

This is where the quote comes into play. Until Iago, Othello was never betrayed by anyone. He puts so much love and trust into Iago that he is blinded by his cunning ways. In his final moment Othello truly believed that he was being possessed and blames his hand for the sin he commits “of one whos hand, / threw a pearl away. ” (V. ii. 255-256) He still does not see that his faults were exploited by Iago and used against him. Although killing himself could be seen as a dignified action, Othello truly thinks that he was forced to do this action by some unseen evil, not by his trustworthy ally Iago.

It is not until Iago’s plan came to light by Emilia that Othello realized Iago is truly evil, but still holds on to the idea that a noble man such as he must have been possessed by demons to do such an evil crime. It is almost as though at this point Othello cannot believe that he is capable of such a deed. So if one were to go deeper, it could be seen that Othello in a certain way is guilty of loving himself too well. He is recognized as having such a high reputation as a military leader, which is supported by the fact that he never in the play shows off his fighting skills, but no one objects to him being a qualified general.

Therefore he must have the qualities needed to reach such a rank. He speaks well, and is widely respected. However these skills as a general only cause problems in his life as a civilian. Othello has it in his head that he is such a noble man, (because up until this point he has had no reason to think other wise) that when his nobility is put in jeopardy, he does not put the responsibly on himself but on outside forces that are out of his control. It is possible to observe Othello as a good, kindhearted man who is never betrayed until he is by Iago.

He is a strong soldier who falls from glory only because Iago is so cunning and so evil. In Jeff Statts character review of Othello he defines “tragic” as “something very unfortunate, even or person not likely to win love of the surrounding world”(Statts) It is as well possible to say that maybe Othello does not die as a tragic hero, but as someone who is destroyed by evil. But the fact that his marriage could be seen as shallow and that if Othello had only been honest with his wife and his lieutenant then he would have found the truth himself.

Jeff Statts article says it quite nicely, “The combination of blind love to his wife without rational thinking is the main problem that will lead our hero to his tragic ending. ” (Statts) Othello could lead, but when it comes to reasoning, he cannot.

Othello is a play that has been studied quite thoroughly. It is hard now a days to understand Shakespeare’s English because it is almost an entirely different language then what we speak today. I defiantly believe the most useful source when studying Shakespeare is Spark Notes. This gives you an accurate translation into modern day English and can help those who are lost understand the magic of Shakespeare’s plays.

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Othello Swan Song. (2019, Jun 20). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/paper-on-essay-othello-swan-song-2/

Othello Swan Song
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