Section One – Extended Response – “Othello’s Downfall Is Due To A Basic Flaw In His Own Character” Discuss And Refer To Two Critical Interpretations

859 words - 4 pages

Section one – extended response – “Othello’s downfall is due to a basic flaw in his own character” discuss and refer to TWO critical interpretations.

Although many may be under the imperession that Othello’s downfall in the Shakespearean text ‘Othello’, it is thought that Othello isn’t the only character to blame for this tragedy. In the play Othello, Iago orchestrates Othello's downfall like a skillful playwright. Although flaws in Othello’s character may be greatly influential towards his downfall, the key person that is to be held responsible for this is Iago.
Othello's villain, Iago, may possibly be the most impressive master of deception in the history of literature. Iago plots ...view middle of the document...

Some such as FR Leavis may point the finger at Othello as the one responsible for this great Shakespearean tragedy, claiming that it was his fault he let his own jealousy get the better of him. However a fellow critic Bradley believes that “the story is a tragedy because of a good and noble man’s undoing by a foreign, intellectual and cunning villain, Iago”.
Iago and his deceptive lies is what caused Othello’s jealousy. If you were to remove Iago from this picture, personally I don’t think there would ever have been a tragedy to begin with. Samuel Taylor Coleridge suggested that Shakespeare had portrayed Othello the very opposite to a jealous man; “he was noble, generous, open-hearted; unsuspicious and unsuspecting and was a very chivalrous Moor.” Correspondingly to my Bradley’s opinion, Samuel also believed that the downfall of Othello was not brought by Othello himself, but rather by a skilful and artful villain, Iago.
Iago’s successful destruction of the faith Othello once had in Desdemona ultimately results in the destruction of Othello himself. Over time Othello’s mental state is seen to gradually disintegrate as his mind becomes consumed but Iago’s lies; subsequently resulting in what can only be described as pure insanity. This insanity can be seen on numerous occasions but one key scene in which we witness his first big breakdown is Act 4 scene 1 of the play. In this scene we read a conversation between Othello and Iago. During this discussion...

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