Who is Guilty in Othello's Tragedy
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To start a present argumentative essay on “Othello” written by the great William Shakespeare, first of all, it is required to give a brief content of the plat itself. The tragedy narrates about a Moor named Othello who had achieved a lot in his military career and was highly respected and valued by the Venice government. Othello sincerely fell in love with a noble young lady, Desdemona and secretly married her. In some time, thanks to Iago’s endeavors to disturb the Moor’s mind with jealousy, Othello successfully got in a well-prepared trap. He started suspecting Desdemona in infidelity. Eventually, in outburst of rage, jealousy and offense Othello assassinated his beloved wife and only once a cruel murder had been committed, the bitter truth was divulged to him. He realized what an inexcusable and terrible blunder he had made. Further life was senseless and unbearable. He took a decision to commit suicide and join his wife in the eternity.
During reading the play don’t you ask yourself what was a reason of the tragic end, what and who caused such sad consequences of the play. Whether we should blame Iago, who made his best to provoke Othello and disturb him mind or a coward Cassio, who was afraid to bring clarity in the relationship with Othello or after all, Othello himself who had such an unstable and hot blooded temper. We would like to argue that exactly Othello’s nature is to be kept responsible for the tragic final of the play. The key of the tragedy lies with Othello’s temper, race and surprising gullibility.
Here it is necessary to remind that every human being belongs to a certain type of temper which influences his or her behavior and forming definite traits of character. Taking into consideration Othello’s traits, he can primarily belong to a choleric class. A choleric is defined as easily moved to often unreasonable or excessive anger. This description absolutely coincides with Othello’s behavior. Almost throughout the play we become observers of his groundless anger, rage, growing brutality, mental instability and unrestraint. When Iago managed to poison Othello’s mind and made him suspect his wife, Othello practically immediately reacted, his blood started boiling up. Othello turned from a balanced and a cool-blooded warrior into a mad, jealousy-blinded, hard-hearted man.”Emotion excites his imagination, but it confuses and dulls his intellect”(Bradley,189). Othello was so blinded with his drama that he was deprived of analyzing the set situation, comparing and making conclusions. Jealousy, this “green-eyed monster which doth mock” contaminates his mind as a virus and his common sense is totally paralyzed (III.iii.815). Bradley says that “such jealousy as Othello's converts human nature into chaos, and liberates the beast in man” (Bradley,181).
Further, we should not forget that Othello was an outsider, a foreigner and more above, he was of another skin color, he was black. It is also a fact that some black people can be easily provoked, they are more explosive, more reactive and such our Othello looks like. Iago states “with a little act upon the blood/burn like the mines of sulfur”(III,iii,821). Iago uses racial distinction to persuade Othello in believing in love affair between Desdemona and Cassio. Knowing weaknesses of Othello, his aptitude of getting jealous and suspicious, his lack of confidence, Iago successfully manipulates Othello’s mind, his thinking process, his actions and the phrases “these Moors are changeable in their wills” and “The Moor already changes with my poison” confirm the stated (I,iii,783),(III,iii,821). Though, we cannot but remember Emilia’s question if Othello is jealous, on what Desdemona replies “Who,he?/I think the sun where he was born/ drew all such humors from him (III,iv,828). Unfortunately, she was mistaken. Othello could not overcome his blood call, his inclination to suspect a wife in being unfaithful to him. Suspicion gives birth to uncertainty and mistrust, breaks the harmony and mutual understanding in relationship between people, especially in a married couple. Such negative feelings are, to the big extent, very harmful and bring to under esteem of the person, fury and desire of revenge and punishment. The more Othello heard the details of the false affair from Iago, the faster he was regressing back to his vicious native heritage. It is not for nothing Desdemona addressing Othello says “I understand a fury in your words,/But not the words”(IV,ii,846). If Othello brought the clarity in his questions and narrations, be calm and reasonable, the tragedy would not have happened to any of them.
Criticizing Othello and hitting his negative traits, we cannot but notice negativeness in his even positive features. First remember Othello at the beginning of the play, we meet a man not only of another skin color, but a man who differs by his human qualities: honesty, straightforwardness, nobility and childish credulity somewhere. “He shares great openness and truthfulness of nature” (Bradley, 190). “The Moor is of a free and open nature/That thinks men honest that but seem to be so”(I,iii,786). But such openness and readiness to believe, to trust boundlessly anybody, except Desdemona, played a malicious jest in his and Desdemona’s destinies. Bradley specifies that Othello’s mind was very simple. “He was not observant. He is quite free from introspection, and is not given to reflection (Bradley,189). Othello was an honest, open, trustworthy and trustful person, but these features of his character were meanly misused against him and his beloved Desdemona. He did not take any precautions not to trust completely to the family outsiders. Because of his openness he allowed another person to penetrate into his private life. Othello served an easy prey for Iago’s insinuations and plans. His character flaws were fully revealed and easily manipulated by Iago.
Helen Gardner points out that he is,” in a sense, a self-made man, the product of a certain kind of life which he has chosen to lead"(Gardner,140). But he was not enough strong to follow it. Thus, keeping n view the given statement, we are ready to finalize that purely a barbarian nature of Othello, his character flaws and mental incapability to resist to such persons as Iago, mental weakness are to be hold responsible for the tragedy end. Without a core inside a person, a human being is worth nothing. Othello, having such an impulsive, savage, uncontrollable and jealous temper was destined to come to the tragedy. Othello becomes “a villain by chance” (Bartels,454).