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What is love? Love is the pinnacle of all emotions, it is the epicenter for life, what is the point of living if there is no love, ironically love is the cause of many a down fall. William Shakespeare has single handedly captured and embraced this necessary feeling and has allowed us to view in on it through the characters in his two masterpieces, Othello and King Lear. Three different kinds of loves explored in both Othello and King Lear, sharing both similarities and differences are a love for a significant other, the love a father holds to his children, and the love a daughter holds for her father. By looking at the outcomes of these loves one may draw a sense of loves negative and positive effects, and how the different traits of loves play into the outcomes in the fate of Shakespeare's characters. Through the analysis of love in these two plays one will become a more knowledgeable student of literature.
The first love one may want to peer into in both Othello and King Lear is the Love one may hold for a significant other. This type of love is prevalent in Othello between Othello and Desdemona, and can be compared to King Lear through Goneril and Regan with their husbands and having Edmund thrown in the mix. Desdemona's love for Othello is made very clear right from the start when she goes to bat for him against her father. This is seen when her father was so upset that he brought charges upon Othello to try and revoke their vows. She gives reasons why her explanation of the reasons she loves Othello defines her essential character as a woman of loyalty and fidelity to him, and not simply to a picture of him gleaned from a story told by him (B. Long). Later on in the play Desdemona's loves continues to shine through until the very end when Othello has became so enraged he is over her about to take her life she pleas to keep through her reinstating her love for him. According to the critic B. Long this is not just a scapegoat to save her life but that she truly loves him in a very genuine way; one may have a hard time finding text to prove otherwise. If Desdemona's love for Othello was a subservient love, generated by seeing his facade in his mind and fueled by her delight in his honors and heroic parts, Othello's love towards Desdemona is rather different. Though he will later speak of his logic of pleasure to be united with her after a dangerous trip to Cyprus (B Long), with such thrilled words as "it is too much of joy (Othello 2.1.197), he is content not because he feels she is his "soul mate;" rather, he loved her because she fell in love with him through his stories. Both Othello and Desdemona share the same type of love, the love for a significant other they are different degrees. Desdemona's unselfish unconditional love leads to her death while Othello's love of being love led to his jealousy a product of love which led to both of their demises