This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

"Nothing" In "Othello". Essay

659 words - 3 pages

There are some indications as to the fact that the word "nothing" could mean female genitals in Elizabethan English. A woman seems to have nothing between her legs, and this nothing both reassures and threatens men. If the nothing is in a man's exclusive possession, it is only his to fill. However, if a woman is to become an individual owner of her own nothing, then god knows who's going to fill the gaping hole. The nothing becomes an abyss that swallows a man's virility, and then as Othello puts it: "chaos is come again" (III.ii.92-3).The chaos of paranoid jealousy is the specific chaos of Othello: a self-inflatable doubt in compulsive search of its confirmation; it is an idea, without the minutest rooting in reality, in a constant pursuit of an object to link itself to. Paranoid jealousy thus tends to fill the world with hidden meanings. Iago is well aware of this as he cunningly replies "Nothing" when Othello asks what ails him. He knows that Othello is going to over-read the word as well as he is going to over-read the stolen handkerchief. To know only something is to know that there is something else that you do not know. This chain of knowledge stretches out to infinity. To a paranoiac, each piece of evidence suggests another; until it becomes a pathological obsession with hunting down hidden knowledge i.e. epistemophilia as Freud terms it. The idea of epistemophilia is to pluck out the heart of a mystery so as to master and possess it. However, since in Othello there is no mystery, this idea is constantly foiled and creates endless frustration: no further knowledge can be obtained, and a man who knows he knows only little betrays a pathetic capacity to believe anything. Nothing can bring relief but the confirmation of the doubt. Othello will not believe Iago's words until he has obtained "ocular proof" of his wife's infidelity. However, in a paranoiac's mind even the reality is a text...

Find Another Essay On "Nothing" in "Othello".

The Two Sides of Othello Essay

1314 words - 5 pages ). As he explains to Brabantio, Desdemona’s father, Othello gained the favor of Desdemona through his heroic tales of the battlefield and of the dangers he overcame. Instead of appealing to Desdemona on a personal level, Othello intrigues her with his accounts of military courage. Desdemona learns of Othello’s public demeanor, but nothing of his private life. Prior to their marriage, Othello does not show an interest in Desdemona and therefore he

A Underlying tale of racism Essay

1291 words - 6 pages that race played a key role in “Othello.” Thus, Shakespeare sheds light on society’s ignorance to racism and that good and evil come in all colors through the relationships between each character and the protagonist, Othello. The play begins on the streets of Venice where Iago, the white villa and Rodrigo are arguing. Rodrigo wants nothing more than to suit Desdemona (a white Venetian); however, he learns that the Moor has just married

Iago as Puppet Master of Shakespeare's Othello

1752 words - 7 pages ). When Othello asks him what he said, Iago plays it off and insists that it was nothing. Then Othello wonders if he indeed saw Cassio leave his wife. Meticulously, Iago defends Cassio by saying he would not be the type to sneak away from Othello’s quarters in such a manner. Iago’s words begin to puts questions in Othello’s mind since Othello made no connection between the way in which Cassio left Desdemona and the possibility of something

The Flaws of Othello, Murderer of Desdemona

1733 words - 7 pages to human passion and desires. Othello perceives himself as being “above human passions”; he is immune to emotions that would weaken ordinary humans (Kirschbaum, 291). Throughout the play and even until the end, Othello holds himself up on a pedestal. As the play comes to an end, before Othello ultimately suicides, he says: When you shall these unlucky deeds relate, Speak of me as I am. Nothing extenuate, Nor set down aught in malice. Then must

Lullaby Of Hell

1016 words - 5 pages general cannot be trust. Iago in doing so wins Othello’s confidence by telling the conspiring “truth” of the situation. In addition, Iago sets forth another “harmless” fact that persuades Othello to both consciously and unconsciously think about his wife’s dishonesty. Iago blatantly and skillfully talks about Desdemona telling Othello that, “She did deceive her father, marrying you” (3.3.208). Othello can say nothing against this fact and he slowly

Othello

754 words - 3 pages prostitute that has fallen in love with him. Othello thinks he is talking about Desdemona. Cassio says how she means nothing to him, she is just fun. Cassio also takes out Desdemona's handkerchief to wipe his face. Othello sees and hears this and becomes outraged. He wants Desdemona as well as Cassio dead.The eventual poisoning of Othello's mind can be directly attributed to Iago's manipulation of Othello himself as well as others associated with

exploring the causes of the tragedy of Othello

1206 words - 5 pages hate and jealousy, and will accomplish his purpose at all costs. Lastly, when Othello tells the officials from Cyprus his reasons for committing murder and that it is Iago who tells him of Desdemona’s affair. In front of the officials, Iago responds, "Demand me nothing. What you know, you know./ From this time forth I never will speak a word”(5. 2. 303-304). In the play, Iago never speaks of an affair; he is only making insinuations and

Jealousy in William Shakespeare’s Othello

3937 words - 16 pages nothing to show for all the money he shelled out to Iago. Not only is Roderigo mad about all the monies lost Iago is extremely frustrated with the lack of progress in Iago’s attempts to help Roderigo win Desdemona’s love. During all the commotion of the quarrel and Iago’s evil plotting against the characters Othello keeps Desdemona close. Since Michael Cassio is now looking for access to Desdemona it is perfect timing for Iago to start making

Destructive Jealousy in Iago and Othello

1043 words - 4 pages manipulative and has a good understanding of people. He is evil throughout shakespeares play and he knows it. He also blames others for active manipulation of them. “demand me nothing, what you know, you know.” Iago plants the idea of desdamona in othellos mind. Initially othello does not believe him, but iago continues to manipulate othello and othello lets him do it.

The Art of Manipulation in Othello by William Shakespeare

907 words - 4 pages Manipulation is a powerful skill. It causes people to lose trust in friends, doubt themselves, and, in some cases, murder someone they love. In the play Othello by William Shakespeare, Iago, a master of manipulation, causes the protagonist, Othello, to lose trust in his faithful wife, Desdemona, even pushing him to the point of murdering her. Iago successfully convinces Othello to doubt Desdemona and later murder her through his genius use

Othello, by William Shakespeare, as a tragedy

1128 words - 5 pages hero's downfall is caused by a character flaw is one convention of a tragic play in which the play 'Othello' follows. As the hero of the play, Othello, possess many flaws, which ultimately causes his downfall. Othello's trusting nature, being his most fatal flaw, as Iago easily manipulated him. This is seen through Othello's dialogue "honest, honest Iago". This repetition emphasises Othello's trust towards Iago, how he believes that Iago isn't

Similar Essays

Essay On Villains In Much Ado About Nothing And Othello

701 words - 3 pages Comparing the Villains in Much Ado About Nothing and Othello   The two villains in Much Ado About Nothing and Othello share much in common, despite their numerous differences. It is evident that Shakespeare framed the second piece of literature to be similar to the first. Although shorter, the plot of  “Othello” is definitely more complex. The villains play a major part in the novels, and are very much alike in their line of

Essay On Jealousy In Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, And Winter's Tale

883 words - 4 pages Jealousy in Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, and Winter's Tale   The common thread of jealousy ties together the main plots in Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, and The Winter's Tale. In each of these plays, the main conflict is centered around some form of jealousy. While jealousy is the mutual, most prominent cause for turmoil in these plays, its effects on the characters, and ultimately the plots, is different in each case. This

Authors Of It All: The Villains Of Much Ado About Nothing And Othello

2320 words - 10 pages Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing and Othello feature comparably directorial villains in Don John and Iago, respectively. These characters may be the most direct link between two plays with many similarities. In the essay “Illusion and Metamorphosis in Much Ado About Nothing,” Paul and Miriam Mueschke claim, “The similarities between Much Ado and Othello […] are more numerous than are those between any other comedy and tragedy in the entire

Othello's Tragic Flaw Essay

1323 words - 5 pages Othello, a Moor, comes to Venice after several years of serving in the military. Being a Moor makes it difficult to be taken seriously. I tis like segregation in the 1960’s, white’s had luxury while colored had almost nothing. In order for Othello to gain some respect, he had to gain authoritative power, which he did by becoming a military general. In the military Othello meets Cassio and Iago, he chooses Cassio as his lieutenant which upsets