Othello Essay Obsession

1098 words - 4 pages


OTHELLO - Obsession

Obsession is when a persistent idea dominates a person's mind affecting his or her behaviour. Othello, a play written by William Shakespeare, Clueless, a film written and directed by Amy Heckerling and Every breath you take a song composed by Gordon Sumner (sting) are all texts which explore the idea of obsession and its effect on the individual that is inevitably destructive.

Obsession can lead one to be in an unstable state of mind, inevitably leading to destruction. This is conveyed in Shakespeare's Othello through the character Othello. The villain of the play, a manipulative and scheming Iago, uses his power and popularity to manipulate Othello and other characters to seek revenge on the moor. Throughout the play, Othello is in an unstable state of mind due to Iago's conspiracy that Desdemona is having sexual relations with Cassio. This motivates Othello to murder his wife and then commit suicide. This is due to the fact that he found that this was all a plot for revenge by Iago and the fact that he was in an unstable state of mind because of his obsession of love for Desdemona. "Ay, let her rot and perish, and be damned tonight, for she shall not live. No, my heart is turned to stone: i strike it, and it hurts my hand." When Othello says this to Iago in act four scene one it illustrates Othello being in an unstable state of mind leading him to murder Desdemona and that he does not care about her but really he is in love with her but cannot live with her if he knows that she has made the beast with two backs with Cassio. In the play Othello, Shakespeare uses symbols such as the handkerchief, to represent different things to different characters. As a gift from Othello, Desdemona receives this handkerchief as a symbol of Othello's love. Throughout Othello, Iago gains possession of the handkerchief and manipulates it by giving it to Cassio, trying to create an impression that Desdemona has given it to him aiming for Othello to find out and punish Desdemona. This innocent handkerchief becomes an item of obsession for Othello, and virtually leads to destruction of his and Desdemona's relationship.

Amy Heckerling's Clueless is a comedy about school teenagers in Beverly Hills who have nose jobs, mobile phones, change outfits constantly and take care of everybody else's social lives except their own. Cher Horowitz, a self absorbed, blonde teenager who is obsessed with being popular and fashionable, chooses to act like a "ditz" where she is actually quite intelligent and puts friends and family aside whilst trying to get to the top. Cher's obsession causes her to be in an unstable state of mind, inevitably leading her to do all of these things which were ruining her life (destructive). Amy Heckerling conveys this insight through sharp, panted dialogue. This dialogue is both humorous and revealing. Cher's vocabulary indicates her intelligence and...

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