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

The Meaning Of Love In Shakespeare's Othello

2299 words - 9 pages

The Meaning of Love in Othello

 
   The Bible says that 'all else is redundant without love', a most profound and relevant statement underlining the tragedy of Othello; in the absence of love, the Moor's fortunes plummet, so that he loses not only his respect and his posting but his life and that of his wife also. However, to truly understand the depth of this tragedy, it is essential to understand from where Othello, the protagonist, is coming before the arrival of his peripiteia, his falling out of love and into jealousy. It is therefore vital to understand the meaning of love in Othello, not only to fully portray Othello's fall from grace, but to understand many of the actions and views of the other characters in the play. It also enables the reader to understand what Shakespeare is trying to say about the world in general through his use of love.

There are in Othello, as in life, many different types of love, with some characters displaying different sorts of love depending on with whom they are sharing their love. Probably the most obvious love is between Othello and Desdemona, characterised by their happiness to see each other after Othello's separation due to the storm:

Othello: O my fair warrior!
Desdemona: My dear Othello!
Othello: ... O my soul's joy,
If after every tempest come such calms
May the winds blow till they have weakened death.

The emphatic language and hugely powerful imagery (the calm after the storm, the winds blowing until they weaken death, the examples) employed by Othello, as well as the short exclamations on first seeing each other indicate a feeling of true delight to once again be in one another's presence. However, and this is evident in the extract above, Othello and Desdemona, although it is easy to see that they have a deep love for each other, not only express their love in different ways but, in fact, feel their love towards each other differently. Notice that it is only Othello who uses the heightened language, whilst Desdemona refrains from its usage; also, that to Othello, Desdemona is a 'fair warrior' but his use of synonyms is not returned as Desdemona decides to call him, 'My dear Othello', a rather weak compliment in comparison. Both of these incidents point towards Othello being deeply, deeply in love, infatuated with Desdemona and this is backed up throughout the play. His view of love in this instance as an all-consuming, passionate, raging forest fire is implicit through his frequent allusions to sex,

'To please the palate of my appetite
Nor to comply with heat, the young affects
In me defunct, and proper satisfaction',

as well as his use of classical, semi-divine metaphors such as 'feathered Cupid' which show that Othello believes that his love is inescapable; it is favoured by the gods and cannot be separated from for fear of invoking the wrath of the Gods.

Desdemona, on the other hand, gives a much cooler view of love when concerned with Othello....

Find Another Essay On The Meaning of Love in Shakespeare's Othello

The Power of Language in Shakespeare's Othello

1187 words - 5 pages Desdemona, but it is also a metaphor for finality of putting a thought into words. The moment when Othello puts his thoughts into words, when his fate is "born", he uses the following language: 460          my bloody thoughts, with violent pace, 461          Shall ne'er look back, ne'er ebb to humble love, Ö 464          In the due reverence of a sacred vow 465          I here engage my words.   (Othello, 3.3.460-465, p.239

The Character of Iago in Shakespeare's Othello

1655 words - 7 pages The Character of Iago in Othello      In the play Othello, the character Iago plays a paramount role in the destruction of Othello and all of those around him.  Some critics state that Iago's actions are motiveless and that he is a purely evil character.  However, during the course of this paper, certain motives for Iago's actions will be discussed.             For the first motive to be understood the reader must become knowledgeable

The Varieties of Love in Othello

2384 words - 10 pages The Varieties of Love in Othello         The meaningful term “love” can be applied to differing relationships in Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello. In this essay let us examine under a microscope the “love” that we find throughout the play.   David Bevington in William Shakespeare: Four Tragedies describes how “love” is attacked from the outset of Othello:   Daringly, Shakespeare opens this tragedy of love not with a direct

The Importance of Act III in William Shakespeare's Othello

2082 words - 8 pages malevolent along the way. Love, hate, jealousy and devotion all come together to create this epic and unforgettable play, written by the most infamous playwright of all time; William Shakespeare. Many people say that Act III (iii) in Shakespeare's play Othello is the most important scene throughout the entire play, because the main characters' personalities are revealed in their truest form of all, along with their

Othello's Flaw in Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Othello

808 words - 3 pages Othello's Flaw in Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Othello In Shakespeare?s play Othello, Othello himself is the tragic hero. He is an individual of high stature who is destroyed by his surroundings, his own actions, and his fate. His destruction is essentially precipitated by his own actions, as well as by the actions of the characters surrounding him. The tragedy of Othello is not a fault of a single person, but is rather the consequence of a

The Use of Soliloquies in William Shakespeare's Othello

1109 words - 4 pages The Use of Soliloquies in William Shakespeare's Othello Soliloquy is a stage device which can be found throughout the works of many modern day playwrights, and is famously used by Shakespeare in his theatrical tragedy, “Othello.” We see at many key moments, both the lead roles of Othello and Iago, speak when no other characters are present or listening, revealing their inner most thoughts to the audience, illuminating

The Power of Self-Destruction in Shakespeare's Othello

910 words - 4 pages 106). Othello is the story of love, deception, and power. Othello, an army general in Venice, comes into conflict with his self and social identity during the war between the Turks and Venice. However, it should be taken into consideration at the time Venice was the center for commercialism and materialism, which led to corruption and conflict arising from greed, social status and competition among peers (Cummings 1). Among the multiple of

Extreme Jealousy in Shakespeare's Othello, the Moor of Venice

2449 words - 10 pages love, then, are the two qualities that distinguish the character, and it is through them that he is betrayed by his friend. Othello?s fall -- from the pinnacle of marital delight into an abyss of jealous despair -- is precipitous in many senses of the word: the transformation is rapid, the descent is steep, and the supposition of betrayal reduces the general to weeping . . . 'precipitating' tears. Dramatic license compresses events that would

The Evil Character of Iago in Shakespeare's Othello

669 words - 3 pages as I do hell” (I. i. 171). Iago openly admits to Roderigo that he does not like Othello, and later in the story uses Roderigo for his money. Since Iago knows that Roderigo is in love with Desdemona, he tells Roderigo to “put money in thy purse” (I. iii. 382). He insists that by flourishing Desdemona with gifts she will want to be with him. Instead, all of the gifts that are suppose to go to Desdemona, Iago keeps them for himself. This shows how

The Character of Shylock in William Shakespeare's Othello

2355 words - 9 pages The Character of Shylock in William Shakespeare's Othello William Shakespeare was born in 1564, in the small town of Stratford. He wrote many plays, including the revered Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Midsummer Night's Dream, Othello, Hamlet and, of course, The Merchant of Venice. He died in 1616, aged 52. This essay aims to take a look at

Analysis of Shakespeare's Work in Othello

1673 words - 7 pages stranger on a street, which resulted in her death and many people's deaths. It proves that a person, no matter what should jump to conclusions because it will only produce negativity, In our case death. Othello was the main character in Shakespeare's Othello. He was a kind and noble man that fell under the evil power of jealousy. His love for Desdemona was greater than any other, and that is why even the thought of his wife cheating on him

Similar Essays

The Failure Of Love In Shakespeare's Othello

1050 words - 4 pages In William Shakespeare’s tragedy, Othello, there are numerous important ideas that are expressed throughout the play. One of the more significant ones is love, which is demonstrated in different types, through various characters. Shakespeare is conveying the message that the occurrence of negative incidents will overthrow even the strongest feelings of love. The relationship between Othello and Desdemona, the brotherly love between the Moor

Love And Hate Expressed By Characters In William Shakespeare's Othello

716 words - 3 pages Love and Hate Expressed by Characters in William Shakespeare's Othello In the play Othello, by William Shakespeare, different characters contribute to the development of particular themes. Three strong themes portrayed by the characters are of; misplaced trust, love vs. Hate and jealousy, and shattered innocence. The first theme of misplaced trust is clearly evident in most of all the characters that are manipulated by the depraved

Love And Death In Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet And Othello

1766 words - 7 pages says, “I have night's cloak to hide me from their sight; And but thou love me, let them find me here: My life were better ended by their hate,Than death prorogued, wanting of thy love.” (Shakespeare, Act II Scene II) The love that Romeo and Juliet share is so overwhelming that it is toxic to their thought process. They believe that there is no other choice at the end of the play except that of death. Othello is not very different in theme

The Importance Of Emilia In Shakespeare's Othello

1969 words - 8 pages The Importance of Emilia in Shakespeare's Othello In Othello the Moor, Shakespeare combines destiny with a fatal character flaw and that flaw is jealousy.  Shakespeare's tragedy allows one character to hold the key to the entire web he has spun and that character is Emilia. Emilia is the lone character who garners the knowledge to all circumstances of the events surrounding the characters in Othello the Moor.  Although other characters in