An exploration of the portrayal of jealousy in ‘Othello’, ‘Hamlet’ and ‘The Scarlet Letter’.
Like most Shakespearian plays, tragic endings are common, and play a fundamental role in revealing the fatal flaw in a main character that eventually leads to their downfall. This essay will analyze the features that contribute to the deterioration of the characters and how they fall victim to certain vices such as manipulation or fate. I will also be examining character personalities in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. I will be researching the reasons why Othello, Hamlet and Roger Chillingworth were fuelled to commit such acts of violence or attempted to, and paying particular ...view middle of the document...
We can tell from certain implications that Iago will contribute greatly to revealing Othello’s fatal flaw through antagonistic features that he possesses. These features include derogative language and pure resentment towards Othello as seen in this extract: “I hate the Moor: And it is thought abroad, that 'twixt my sheets He has done my office:” (act1 scene 3). This extract shows the degree of hated to which Iago has for Othello, he doesn’t care for him nor does he care for anyone else associated with him. Dramatic irony, a typical convention of tragedy is used throughout the course of the play to covey Iago’s feelings of animosity towards Othello to the audience without him knowing.
Desdemona is the daughter of Brabantio, the Venetian senator; she is characterized as an honest and trusting woman and almost angelic. However, she is portrayed as naïve and easily charmed, especially by Othello and soon elopes with him.
Closely looking at the beginning of the play, Othello seems infatuated and almost obsessed with Desdemona; he seems to possessively love her, or the idea of her. At first it’s apparent that Othello and Desdemona are in love with each other, there are no clear implications that Iago would manipulate him in such a way that would fuel him to become insanely jealous. “O my soul's joy!
If after every tempest come such calms”- this quote explains his fervent love for Desdemona, the word “joy” expresses a feeling of complete content that we, the audience almost like him. Othello is explaining that if the calm after each storm could be this amazing then continue to let there be storms. In other words, he’s saying that even after difficult times comes a time as joyous as this, then let there be many hard times. Here, Shakespeare uses blank verse to exaggerate a poetic love towards Desdemona. The tone and rhythm is gentle and conveys a feeling of calm and genuine love.
The storm is significant of future events, Shakespeare uses this literary technique of foreshadowing to create an inkling of destruction later on in the play. It is introduced to contrast and compare the likeness of Othello’s nature; storms are unpredictable and catastrophic, this mirrors his volatile character and emotions.
As the play progresses we see Othello changing character, he becomes jealous and aggressive towards Desdemona; a complete contrast to how he was at the beginning of the play. “Villain, be sure thou prove my love a whore, be sure of it; give me the ocular proof”. This quote is a clear example of Othello’s jealousy, he’s so blinded by anger and pure jealousy that he demands Iago to show him proof of his wife’s infidelity, that if he sees proof he shall only then believe. Shakespeare uses no clear rhythm in this quote to convey urgency to the audience, the pace of the speech is fast and uninterrupted which heightens the tension and gives an inkling to the audience that perhaps tragedy shall strike soon.
Throughout the play, we can see Othello’s...