The Morally Good And Bad In Othello

1765 words - 7 pages

The Morally Good and Bad in Othello  

 
   William Shakespeare’s drama Othello is one concentrated contest between the forces of the morally good and the morally bad. Let us analyze this contest in detail in this essay.

 

Standing out like a dark silhouette on a white background is the sinister character and master of deception in the drama – the general’s ancient. Morton W. Bloomfield and Robert C. Elliott  in Great Plays: Sophocles to Brecht highlight the dominant evil force in the play, Iago:

 

For critics, the chief problem in the play is the character of Iago. The debate usually centers around whether he had sufficient motives for his cruel actions or whether, on the other hand, he is an example of “motiveless malignity.” The question cannot be resolved here, nor is it necessary to try to resolve it. Iago, whether because of his disappointment at not having been given Cassio’s position, or because of his belief that Othello had cuckolded him, or because of his love of evil for its own sake, is nevertheless a man who has rejected all ties of morality and idealism. (39)

 

Totaling the lies which the ancient tells to everyone about him would require considerable effort and time. In Shakespeare’s Four Giants Blanche Coles comments on the lack of veracity in Iago’s speech:

 

The story that Iago tells Roderigo about the promotion of Cassio over him is not true, although it has been accepted by many discriminating scholars. Careless reading alone can account for this misapprehension, careless reading which for the moment dulls their alertness to one of the most essential requirements of Shakespearean character analysis. That requirement is that the reader must never accept, or must always be ready to challenge, the word of any character unless the veracity of that character has been established, or unless the statement is accepted by more than one person of confirmed honesty. (76)

 

Iago’s lying is a type of immoral conduct which the ancient practices from beginning to end of the drama. But is lying his chief motivating evil? Roderigo’s opening lines to Iago in Act 1 Scene 1 take us to the very root of the problem:

 

     Tush! never tell me; I take it much unkindly

     That thou, Iago, who hast had my purse

     As if the strings were thine, shouldst know of this. (1.1)

 

In other words, the wealthy playboy has been paying off the ancient for the soldier’s intercession with Desdemona on behalf of Roderigo. This payoff has been in progress before the play begins, and it continues even in Cyprus. Yes, it would seem that money is at the root of Iago’s moral downfall, and of all the tragic misfortune in this drama. In order to assure that Roderigo’s  gifts, both in the form of money and jewelry, continue to himself, he initiates an intrigue which begins with the late-night storming of Brabantio’s residence, and ends with the deaths of Roderigo, Desdemona, Othello and Emilia.

...

Find Another Essay On The Morally Good and Bad in Othello

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

1288 words - 6 pages Social media has created many great outcomes socially, but with that good comes many bad outcomes and some outcomes that are just down right ugly. Facebook and twitter have introduced a whole new world in the ways of conversation and meeting others. This cyber-world that is created brings it's users into using many if not all of it's features and created culture outside of just being online. This is showing that social media is now not just a

The Good, the Bad, and the Elements

965 words - 4 pages that “[a]n element toxic in one circumstance can become a lifesaving drug in another”; what may seem bad initially can be good in other situations. However, he also describes how what may at first appear good can have disastrous consequences, as well. Kean’s clear familiarity and passion for the subject give him the ability to explain difficult concepts well, and his casual and lively attitude create an environment in which one feels comfortable

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

967 words - 4 pages , birthday, or just good luck; we feel the need to reward ourselves, even if it was the last $20 needed to pay the rent. It’s a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment, especially when it comes to shopping. Not all Americans are too attached to their stuff, we cherish the hard work and the many hours we put in to earning these goods. Time doesn’t wait for no one, trends change and upgrade every day; with lack of education, entertainment and the

The Good, the Bad, and the Celebrity

716 words - 3 pages job often requires them to spend time away from their families. Imagine if you were in that situation often because of your job. Actors and celebrities have so much to keep track. Many have their own businesses, clothing lines, endorsements, and projects. They are workaholics. But, they bring a great amount of joy to people and work diligently to try to please their fans. Beyonce Knowles admits it’s hard being a celebrity: The hardest thing is

Ozone- The Good, Bad, And Ugly

1285 words - 6 pages “The ozone is a gas that occurs both in the Earth’s upper atmosphere and at ground level; it can be ‘good’ or ‘bad’ for our health and the environment, depending on its location in the atmosphere” (“Ozone- Good up high bad nearby “ par.1). The troposphere is the layer of ozone that starts at ground level and extends upward about 6-10 miles. This is the area where pollution and smog is located. “

The Good and Bad Effects of Smoking

571 words - 2 pages Why Smoking is Good for YouSmoking is good for in many ways including making you live longer. Although most text books and "experts" say that smoking is bad for you, there are also many other people who disagree and say it has many curing properties. For example, a person with bronchitis from childhood accompanied by marked wheezing was told by doctors not to smoke. He was then told by an old country doctor that he used to be like him until he

The Good and Bad of R.A.T. Theory

2102 words - 8 pages The Good and Bad of R.A.T. Theory. Why do people commit crime? It depends on who you ask and how you look at it, also what you define crime as. There are many theories out there about why people commit crime. One of these theories is Routine Activities Theory. Routine activities theory was first articulated in a series of papers by Lawrence Cohen and Marcus Felson. Crime and victimization involve the intersection of three

Carbon Dioxide- Good and the Bad Script

1587 words - 7 pages Hello, today I will present my presentation on the good and bad of carbon dioxide. This presentation will focus on the characteristics of carbon, global or local issues related to carbon dioxide, what science is doing to address these issues and the benefits and limitations of these scientific methods. The name of my element is carbon. Its symbol is the letter “C” and its atomic number is 6. Its atomic mass is 12.0107. Carbon’s abundance on

The Good and Bad of Racial Profiling

1486 words - 6 pages , discrinmatory, and ineffective. Eventhough statistics say otherwise racial profiling is actually a good way to determine if a person is a suspect or not. Because of hard statistical evedence that shows young black and hispanic men commiting disproportionate numbers of crime. The crimes mostly happen in Urban neighborhoods or rural areas. If an unidentified ethniciy enters a surburban area it will arouse suspcioun to law enforcer because that

Censorship: Good and Bad

520 words - 2 pages written in a book, or the newspaper, so they complain and whine to the government till the book is banned, and no one can read about it. The book may have contained vital information for your everyday life, or may have been a great resource for someone, but because some people didn't like it, no one gets the benefit of that book or literature. This same method can also be used for good. For instance, if the book that was banned was worth being

China in Central Asia: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

1332 words - 6 pages China in Central Asia – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly Central Asia countries have abundant oil, gas and nonferrous metal reserves; at the same time they also have great potentials in hydroelectric power. The location of Central Asia area makes it a bridge between Europe and Eastern Asia. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, China started to develop economical and political relationships with five Central Asia countries. With its neighboring

Similar Essays

Advertising: The Good And Bad Essay

1167 words - 5 pages numerous differences between selling brand name products or services and convincing people to change the way they live their lives (Wolburg). “Ethics is about winning in the long term. Good business and good ethics are not a contradiction in terms” (Wyburd). Society may argue that advertisers will use any means necessary to sell their product or service, but in turn, without advertisements many goods and services that society takes for granted on a

Globalization In China: The Good And The Bad

1723 words - 7 pages ironic situation; Much of these products are made in china and then return to china to be taken apart. "When recycling is done properly, it's a good thing for the environment," said Ma, the Greenpeace spokesman in Beijing. According to United Nations data, 70% of the electronic waste developed is sent to china to be dealt with. But in china its dirty and dangerous work. The way electronic waste is taken apart in china it is hugely devastating to

Distinguishing Between Good And Bad Fats In The Human Diet

725 words - 3 pages Contrary to public belief, not all fats that we consume are bad. Similar to our lesson in complex carbohydrates and added sugars, the key is to be able to distinguish the “good” from the “bad,” as well as to learn ways to select leaner food products more wisely and to moderate our total daily fat intake. The fats that are considered “bad” are the saturated and trans-fatty acids, which are both associated with raising LDL cholesterol (Whitney

The Good, The Bad And The Troubling

959 words - 4 pages Although people disagree over what makes someone morally “good” or morally “bad,” most people can agree that caring and compassion are good qualities while intolerance and selfishness are bad qualities.  Mark Twain uses satire in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to amplify the good and bad qualities of people.  Adventures of Huckleberry Finn exposes Twain’s thoughts on human nature by showing undesirable qualities of people in the racist white