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Mindful Destruction Of Order In Shakespeare's Othello

1067 words - 4 pages

A delicate balance of chaos and order exists in our lives; the balance maintains itself by the very acts of human nature. In the drama Othello, the battle between good and evil creates the basic root of human nature as a whole. While at first, order exists in the lives of the Othello and Iago, through dramatic events and manipulation, the balance becomes unstable and starts to shift into chaos. Once the chaos has started, it continues a chain that continues along until the very end where the balance finally restores itself as it would in human nature. Through the inter and intra personal dialogue between Othello and Iago, a certain image of the character becomes developed because of the continued additions and changes to the character’s situation. Seen as the stronger of the two, Othello holds less intelligence in common matters. Iago’s character shapes out to as more of cunning and strong-headed. Shakespeare uses the characters to effectively reaffirm the basic traits of human nature and show how the traits coincide with the theory of order and chaos. Thorough the use of extensive characterization in this drama, along with artful diction, the development of Othello and Iago, represents a view of humans and their lives along with the all too classic good and evil.
Iago represents evil at the most simplistic level. Of the many traits Iago has ascertained many represent the hatred and jealousy that he has for the people he manipulates, “But for my sport and profit. I hate the Moor...[he] is of a free and open nature. That thinks men honest that but seem to be so. And will as tenderly be led by th’ nose. As asses are,” (1.3. 377-393). Iago knows that Othello has a trusting nature with most men who appear honest, he knows he has the ability to seek his revenge on him quite easily through this weakness. In relation, Iago also has a twisted feeling of “love” towards his friends as he believes he actually helps them. Iago states that “I play the villain. When this advice is free I give, and honest…How am I then a villain. To counsel Cassio to this parallel course,” (2.3.356-357 & 2.3.348-349). Iago believes that by manipulating the lives of others, he actually helps, not hurts, them because he lifts the dark veil from their eyes. His intention of appearing helpful yet secretly harming classically represents the evil of his damaged mind.
Comparatively, Othello for the most part represents the good in this drama. Noted for having the characteristics of a strong leader and war hero and often called the “Valiant Othello,” the senators decide that they “must straight employ [Othello] against the general enemy Ottoman,” (1.3.47-48). The actions of the senators set Othello up as a strong and courageous individual, as well as an intelligent one. Through the use of the word “Valiant”, Shakespeare paints a picture of a grand, fearless, and larger than life man. Eventually he becomes caught up in the things he does not understand or does not wish to dig deeper...

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