How Far Does The Context Of War And Soldiery Contribute To The Tragedy In Shakespeare's "Othello"?

1089 words - 4 pages

Shakespeare's "Othello" tackles the issue of war and soldiery through which it becomes woven into the characters' daily life, especially seen through the use of military terms. In addition, the conflict within the characters, especially in Othello, could be an aspect of war and soldiery as well, through which an inner war is staged within him.Othello's ability to act as a soldier in command greatly exemplifies the point through which Montano's lines of "For I have served him, and the man commands like a full soldier" confirms it. On the surface, this proved to be a substantial point that aids towards the framing of Othello as a character in being a good commander. Yet, it is in this merging of his public war-like figure together with his private position as Desdemona that inevitably cause the tragedy, through which he thus requires to vacillates between his public and private figure, and when faced with the possibility and doubt of Desdemona's infidelity, he deals with it in the only way befitting of his public self: to regain his honor through killing her.Clearly, another instance of war and soldiery would stem from the motive of Iago's hatred towards Othello. Iago, being angry with Othello fro choosing Cassio over him with regard to the role of lieutenant, causes him to start his ploy against the both of them. The dissatisfied tone in which Iago states, "This counter caster, He in good time must his lieutenant be, And I- Go bless the mark- His Moorship's ancient" highlights the jealousy felt by Iago who believed the role should be rightfully his, due to his warring experience in "And I- of whom his eye had seen the proof at Rhodes, at Cyprus and on other grounds" becomes clear enough motivation for Iago to embark on a plot that would thus drive a wedge between Cassio and Othello, spiraling into an inevitable tragedy.The role of Desdemona cannot be divorced from the subject as well, as being the main focus of Othello's jealousy, through which she inevitably becomes a tool in the manipulation of Iago's plot. Her initial position with respect to Othello as the "great captain's captain" shows how Desdemona holds a superior position with regard to Othello, and that through Iago's subversion of her image in Othello's mind which eventually causes Othello to break down from his noble position into a "horned monster" brings out the position of how war and soldiery does lead to the impending tragedy.Likewise, Othello's perception of Desdemona also introduces this factor into the play, through which a gradual subversion from "fair warrior" to that of a "cunning whore of Venice" nonetheless shows the moral degradation that Othello undergoes, becomes a reason for his eventual murder of his wife in an attempt to regain his honor, thus causing the tragic outcome.Subversion of the character of Iago also plays a role in showing how war and soldiery is factored in. Being perceived to be "more in the soldier than in the scholar", which is obviously a wrong...

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