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William Shakespeare - Essay Example

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Summary

“ The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice” by William Shakespeare is one of the most enduring examples of tragedy in English Literature. Edited by Alvin Kerman, the play outlines the fate of Othello, who marries Desdemona in secret to the displeasure of another of her suitors, Roderigo…

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William Shakespeare

Iago, Othello's ensign, seeks Othello's downfall and conspires with Roderigo in order to achieve this and makes use of Cassio, Othello's lieutenant, to arouse jealousy in Othello, who murders Desdemona under the conviction that she has been unfaithful to him with Cassio.
On realizing the truth after Desdemona's death, Othello kills himself. Iago, who has formerly killed Roderigo to cover up his own plots, further kills his own wife Emilia who had unwittingly helped in his wicked plans, and is executed after the entire scheme is exposed. The play is a powerful depiction of love, isolation, insecurity, jealousy, and sheer villainy that takes advantage of all these in order to bring about a tragedy.
The love between fair Desdemona and the moor Othello is based on her admiration of his military prowess, adventures and a certain exotic quality that differentiates him from other Venetians. This prompts her to marry him against her father's wishes and defend her choice in front of the Venetian senate. Her love is innocent, and she naively takes up the suit of Cassio, and jests with her husband despite his obvious displeasure. Othello is invigorated by Desdemona's presence, in his stark military atmosphere, she brings him comfort and joy. But his love is not fortified against his insecurities which spring from the difference in age and appearance between the two, and the unconsummated marriage standing on unsure love is thus open to the machinations of Iago.
Tragedy also springs from the change in venue from Venice to Cyprus, which isolates the main characters Othello, Iago, Desdemona, leaving them alone with their own obsessions. Othello stands apart from the whole scene first by his stature, skin and later by the intense jealousy that consumes him. ...
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