The following academic paper highlights the up-to-date issues and questions of Othello Ending. This sample provides just some ideas on how this topic can be analyzed and discussed.
“To what extent does the ending of the play fulfill the audience’s expectations of tragedy? ” As an audience, we have expectations as to how certain genres should operate ‘ guidelines as to how we envision situations should unfold in order for us to feel comfortable and/or satisfied with what we witness. Shakespearean Othello is a classical tragedy in which Othello, a noble and well respected general In the Venetian army, Is manipulated and thus corrupted by Ago, a malcontent scorned by his less significant position within society.
The demise of the tragic hero is recognized wrought the manipulation of the antagonist we are introduced too man who at first appeared noble and strong, but as the play progresses falls victim to his own flaws. Aristotle poetics provide us with perhaps the most notable form of tragic structure.
He states that tragedies draw upon three significant qualities; hubris, nemesis and catharsis. Hamster ‘ often a result of hubris, extreme pride – Is the beginning of the play in which we are introduced to the ‘respectable’ main character, as well as the tragic flaw which is to be his downfall.
From this the character will proceed through nemesis, in which they will gain self knowledge and remorse for their fate, which cannot be undone. The hero should here suffer a reversal of fortune in which he experiences great suffering, resulting in his death.
The principle of all of this is to evoke catharsis from the audience, a feeling of overwhelming emotion created by witnessing such a downfall of a character, ultimately ending with the audience feeling cleansed, comfortable with the knowledge that all witnessed situations may be resolved.
There is some evidence of this principle throughout Othello, particularly thin Othello final monologue as he likens himself to the “base Indian, who threw a pearl away, richer than all his tribe. ” This is a metaphor, epitomizing the statement that you do not know how precious something Is, until it seems It Is gone. It is at this time Othello reveals his anguish over his loss of Desman, as well as his regret of having murdered her without truly contemplating his actions.
This reminds the audience of Othello humility and how even he, can be destroyed by even the most common of human emotions. Othello realization of his mistakes should, in practice, deem the admiration felt by the audience before his downfall, an essential factor for catharsis. However it could be argued that Othello use of metaphorical language to demonstrate his grief Is a way of distancing himself from the reality.
It could be argued that Othello Is unwilling to accept responsibility for the murder of his love and is instead using language to manipulate the audience into lessening his accountability. This is evident as Othello states he has “done the state some service, and they Knott” ‘ it seems here that he is attempting to manipulate those present, ether smugly claiming that although he may have murdered, he has, in the past, fought for their lives and perhaps they owe it to him to dismiss the situation.
I nurturing toneless Tall moments we are reluctance to ten noodle, unrolled man seen within earlier acts. His language begins to take on the romance of his earlier speech ‘ “l have but an hour of love… To spend with thee, we must obey the time” – reinstating the audience’s original beliefs that Othello is indeed a man worthy of admiration, a man who doesn’t conform to their ideological tragic hero, but who ay in fact be worthy of such a title.
It is through the audience’s recollection of Othello earlier mannerisms that catharsis is eventually evoked, particularly within the lines; I kissed thee ere I killed thee. No way but this, Killing myself to die upon a kiss The change in Othello speech is welcomed by the audience as whilst under Lagos influence, Othello language seemed to mimic his demise – “l would have him nine years a killing! ” ‘ His language here seemed chaotic; his sentences become fragmented as his language consists of considerably more obscenities.
As well as this Othello begins to use bestial terms and imagery; O, I see that nose of yours, but not that Dog I shall throw it to At this point his speech appears much more suited to Lagos mouth, perhaps a conscious decision by Shakespeare ‘ the adaptation of Othello speech is merely a signifier, allowing the audience to fully comprehend the effect of the malcontent’s manipulation. Moreover, in portraying Othello in such a barbaric manner, the audience is able to engage with the protagonist as he finally recognizes his mistakes.
In the softening of his lexis, Othello seems to express his remorse for the death of his fife and thus the audience feel comfortable antipathies with the character, however short-lived the empathy felt may be. The death or sacrifice of a hero is essential in regards to the structure of a tragic play, and so Othello suicide is pivotal in the success of the play within this genre. Often within tragedies death is used to resolve the crisis and to, in general terms, conclude the circumstances which have transpired throughout ‘ without death, Othello simply would not be a tragedy. However, the cowardly reasons surrounding the death of
Othello ‘ perhaps his suicide was a quick escape – teamed with the lack of explanation as to why these scenarios occurred, cause the audience to acknowledge a lack of pathos in regards to the tragic hero ‘ the death does not provide the ‘closure’ it intends to and instead arouses slight confusion. This however, is not to be misconstrued; the death is in no way an anti-climax, the audience is satisfied with the fact that Othello is dead and is comfortable with the knowledge that the play has followed the course of which they expected; however this does not seem enough as the antagonist lives on.
Many other of Shakespearean creations follow this same root the audience witness the downfall of the tragic hero and thus, eventually, his death. In Machete, Tort Instance, we wellness Nils meals, ten corruption Installed y e malcontent ‘ his wife, a character with many similarities to Ago ‘ and finally his death. However despite the wrong Macbeth commits, a sense of pity and sorrow is evoked from the audience, ultimately resulting with catharsis. The plot seems complete and we are quite content with the outcome.
Othello, however, when compared with Macbeth, does not have this effect. The audience, I believe remain baffled by Othello disillusion regarding his actions, he remains true to his belief that he was motivated, not by revenge but out of a sense of Justice. He appears to believe he had committed “an honorable murder” and so is still unwilling to accept responsibility for the wrongful death of his wife, Desman. In addition to this, it is paramount within a tragedy for the tragic hero to be the protagonist.
This structure is evident within Macbeth; however it seems here, as A. C Bradley said, that “Othello is Ago in action”. The audience feel closer to Ago; they feel hey understand him when other characters do not; the audience, perhaps due to his soliloquies, are fascinated by him. It is Ago ‘ the villain ‘ who is left standing at the very end of the play. Ago ends his role with, however little there may be of it, dignity. He chooses to “never speak word” and so he does not, unlike Othello ‘ whom instead opts to end his life.
I would then argue that this prevents the play from truly inspiring the audience to feel “admiration and commiseration” towards Othello ‘ they do not know him in such a way they do the antagonist and they therefore are unable to aspect him in a way he, perhaps, deserves. However in contrast to this, I believe the audience is also left dissatisfied by Ago, as he refuses to provide both us and Othello with reasons for his actions; Demand me nothing.
What you know, you know From this time forth I will never speak word Aristotle once said that tragedies should “excite pity and terror”, and although this statement may be true in relation to the plot of the play, I feel that Lagos refusal to enlighten the audience with the reasoning behind his behavior, means we are ended the chance to fully understand the situation and thus are unable to fully immerse ourselves in any emotion of which the both Ago and Othello position could evoke. It is disappointing to learn of Lagos lack of compassion.
His language ‘ The lusty Moor Hath leaped into my seat; the thought whereof Doth, like a poisonous mineral, gnaw my inwards; and nothing can or shall content my soul till I am evened with him – had conveyed such intense resentment, that we, as an audience, were excited, we languished the opportunity to learn more of Lagos bitterness. It was satisfying for the audience to assume that Lagos actions were committed due to his insecurities ‘ “l am worth no worse a place” regarding Nils Interior social standing.
I Nils presumption In itself rouses pity, however as we learn of Lagos lack of reason behind his behavior, we are saddened ‘ not with empathy, but with disappointment at having received no opportunity to reinstate our belief in humanity. We are therefore unable to fully achieve catharsis. T S Eliot, said there has never been a more “terrible exposure of universal human weakness” than in Othello. I fully agree with this statement. His Jealousy, his passion, even his love aids in the murder of Desman and thus his own death.
Philip Sydney claimed that in order for a play to succeed in the realms of tragedy, they must “opponent up the greatest wounds and showed forth the ulcers… That with the effects of admiration and commiseration, teacher the uncertainty of the world. ” This is clearly evident. Othello humanity – his ability to love with such passion – is exposed as his “ulcer”. As well as this the mere principle that these emotions have the ability to create such disastrous events, causes the audience to wonder at such uncertainties of the world”.
However in contrast to this, I argue that the play fails in evoking the “admiration” which is expected of the tragic hero. Othello language, as well as his suicide, could be interpreted as a lack of remorse for his deeds. This, teamed with the little knowledge the audience actually have of their supposed hero, makes it incredibly difficult for them to feel any sort of sincere emotion towards Othello, ultimately rendering him an outsider to the audience, as well to those around him. He is repeatedly portrayed throughout the play as a foreigner – “The
Moor” ‘ originally evoking sympathy from the audience. However, eventually, Othello fear of his foreign’ identity highlights his vulnerability and thus proves to be his undoing, not only with his comrades, but also the audience, as we are unable to provide the pathos needed for a satisfying ending. Therefore it is my understanding that although some of the audience’s expectations of tragedy are realized; the ending of the play fails to culminate in the rush of emotion expected in tragedy ‘ the audience leave feeling disconcerted at the loss of a conclusion, anything but cleansed.