He is critical essays on othello general in the Venetian defense forces, and, although a foreigner from Africa, he has won this post by excellence in the field of war. He has courage, intelligence, the skill of command, and the respect of his troops.
Under pressure, he makes an inspiring speech. After many years on campaign, Othello has come to live in Venice, among the sophisticated people of the city. Senator Brabantio has invited him to his home, and this is a revelation to the soldier. He is dazzled by the comfortable life, the learned conversation, the civilization. He appoints a student of military knowledge, Cassio, to be his lieutenant.
Suddenly he sees possibilities for himself to which he had never before aspired. Othello is an outsider who is intelligent and confident in military matters but socially insecure. He leads an intense life, swinging between triumph and dread. He is different from those around him, due to his origins and his life history, but he shares their religion, values, and patriotism to Venice. More importantly, he is visibly different due to the color of his skin, so he lives constantly among, but separated from, other people.
Othello tells his life story to Desdemona, and she sees him through his words. The life of early separation from home and family, followed by danger and adventure, is perhaps the life story of thousands of men down the ages who become soldiers of fortune and who end up as corpses in ditches at an early age, unwept, unpaid, and unrecorded. Desdemona takes the lead and encourages him to tell his life story. It is Desdemona, as well as Othello, who turns the secret marriage into a social success with her skillfully worded defense. He is triumphant in war and in love, the hero at his greatest moment.
Such triumph, in a tragedy, cannot last. Othello is aware of the precarious nature of success and happiness. These are the words of a man who knows chaos and believes himself to have been rescued from it by love. Love for Othello puts order, peace, and happiness into his mental world, which would otherwise lapse back into chaos. When faced with the prospect of managing love and marriage, Othello’s inexperience undermines his confidence. Iago finds it easy to drive Othello to jealousy and think that Desdemona loves another man because he already feels that her love for him is too good to be true. Othello sees Cassio as the man most Venetian women in Desdemona’s position would like to marry and, therefore, as the man she would turn to if she ceased to love her husband.
Othello’s insecurities are so close to the surface that a few words of hint and innuendo from Iago can tear the confident exterior and expose his fears, desires, and tendency to violence. However, once he makes a decision, he is again the military man, decisive in action. Fate is cruel to Othello, like the cruel fate of ancient Greek tragedies. Like the Greek heroes, Othello can confront this fate only with the best of his humanity.
In his final speeches, Othello brings again a flash of his former greatness: his military glory, his loyalty to Venice, the intensity of his love, and his terrible realization that, by killing Desdemona, he has destroyed the best in himself. How does Desdemona react on her deathbed? She attempts to kill Othello in self-defense. She curses Othello for his behavior. She remains dignified and maintains her faith and love in Othello. Reading List will also remove any bookmarked pages associated with this title.