I couldn't find a printer that would print my report today during school. I just got back from my game and I am posting my report as proof that I acually did it and am not just buying time. I will post it on here and also email it to you. I will bring the hard copy on Monday.
“Othello” is your typical Shakespeare tragedy, demonstrating the climactic death filled staple that makes his work seem ever so brotherly. There were a few differences in this story compared to Shakespeare’s others. First of all, it portrayed the effects of racism even in historical times. Secondly, it was one of the few plays that did not take place in western or northern Europe. Despite the near foreshadowing that the author alone brings to his literary works, the story was still able to grasp my attention.
Othello, the black Moor that the play is named for, is the general for the Venetians against the Turks. He wins over the heart of one of the nobles’ daughters, Desdemona, by telling stories of the things he has been through. Desdemona was a young, beautiful, white, intelligent, honest, and caring girl that any man would have been lucky to have had as a wife. On the other hand, Othello was old, black, and was even described as ugly; but his personality was amazing. He was honest, brave, trusting, and loyal to everyone. His trustworthiness proved to be his fault that leads to his demise ironically.
Othello is summoned by the Duke to go to the island of Cyprus and take charge there. The Turks had an enormous fleet heading straight for the island, but the fleet was destroyed by a huge storm. Upon arrival at Cyprus, Othello is named governor of the island. This is also the time in which Iago, the antagonist of the story, starts to use his manipulation on people directly linked to Othello. Iago is upset that Michael Cassio was appointed lieutenant by Othello rather than him. Therefor he holds a grudge against both of them. Iago on the other hand, serves as kind of Othello’s chief advisor. Iago tries to use jealousy as a main tool against Othello.
Iago gets Cassio drunk and then has another man go bother him until Cassio has an outburst. This happens and Cassio ends up stabbing someone. This forces Othello to strip Cassio of his position and give it to Iago, just as he had planned. Soon after, Cassio goes to Iago for advice. Iago tells him to go discuss things with Desdemona because she will be able to persuade Othello to let Cassio have his position back. During this time, Iago plants a seed of jealousy in Othello’s mind. He tells him that he believes that Desdemona is cheating on him with Cassio. For the time in the future, Othello observes how his wife and Cassio are meeting with each other so much.
Iago picks up a handkerchief that Desdemona drops and puts it in Cassio’s house. .This handkerchief was one of Othello’s family heirlooms that he gave to Desdemona. Iago then tells Othello that he saw Cassio with it, so Othello asks his wife if he can see the handkerchief. When she refuses, Othello is convinced that they are having an affair. Othello is so distraught he does not know what to do. He decides that he needs to kill Desdemona.
He attempts to do this at night while she is sleeping, but he kisses her so much before hand that she wakes up. He then tells her that he has to kill her. The moment after she dies, Cassio enters the chamber wounded. He also has evidence of Iago’s plan from the beginning. After realizing that he has been tricked, Othello kills himself while kissing his dead bride. Cassio is named the new governor of Cyprus and is given free will to torture Iago in any way he pleases.
It is ironic that Cassio goes from losing his position in the military, to becoming the governor of the island, Cyprus. It is also interesting to see how one evil person can put one ounce of doubt into a another righteous man, causing the latter to behave irrationally. William Shakespeare does a wonderful job at exploiting human weaknesses such as this.
The book was interesting in points, but for the most part it was not. Possibly this book should not be read directly after reading other Shakespearian works because of the repetitiveness. All of the tragedies basically end the same way, with the villain usually just using mental manipulation as their sole method of wreaking havoc. This book in particular was one of Shakespeare’s greatest works.