Is Othello To Blame For His Downfall? Year 12, As Level English Literature, Othello Essay

930 words - 4 pages

“To What Extent Is Othello To Blame For His Downfall?”
Othello’s downfall is a result of many factors, he must bear some responsibility for his actions and for the murder of Desdemona. Nice However, no clear conclusion can be made to whether or not Othello is completely at fault. But you can take a stand and argue it! Othello is an essentially good character, whose virtues are used against him by the evil and manipulative character of Iago. Ultimately Othello’s downfall and destruction is a result of his gullibility and his all-consuming jealousy. Othello is a tragic hero in the true sense of the word; he dies due to a flaw in his character trying to drive out the evil around him. Nice
Two schools of thought exist about whether Othello is to blame for his downfall; A.C Bradley states that Othello is Shakespeare’s most romantic character, whose nature remains noble throughout the play. Whereas F. R. Leavis disagrees, and argues that Othello gives in too easy to the manipulations of Iago. I tend to agree with the latter statement of F. R Leavis. Othello is easily corrupted by Iago’s lies. Iago’s sinister motives are never made clear, however his intention to “ensnare a greater fly as Othello” is made known early in the play. Iago realizes that Othello is extremely trusting and that he can manipulate him for his own gains. This idea is expressed by the quote Nice
“The Moor is of a free and open nature
That thinks men honest that but seem to be so”
Giving the audience an insight into his deceptive and evil character.
Othello is by his nature trusting, it is this Harmatia, which Iago exploits and manipulates Othello through. As Othello in the play is increasingly poisoned by Iago’s lies we can see a transformation in his character. At the start of the play he is presented in equilibrium, completely content and in love with Desdemona.
“ If it were to die now,
‘Twere now to be most happy…”
And even after Iago has introduced the idea of infidelity, he says…
“If She be false, O then Heaven mocks itself,
I’ll not believe it.”
Othello ‘s initial disbelief turns to suspicion as Iago blatantly lying says he heard Cassio sleep talking about Desdemona. The gullible and suspicious Othello demands “ocular proof’’ of his cuckold, Iago contrives the handkerchief scene whence Othello is fully satisfied of Desdemona’s infidelity. It is in this scene where Othello’s weaknesses are fully revealed; he is converted from his seemingly placid nature to being filled with jealousy and rage. Great Transformed too is the imagery which Othello uses to describe Desdemona. Originally comparing Desdemona with heaven, purity and angels, Othello begins to...

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