How far does the context of war and soldiery contribute to the tragedy in Shakespeare's "Othello"?

Essay by serenity87 November 2005

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Shakespeare's "Othello" tackles the issue of war and soldiery through which it becomes woven into the characters' daily life, especially seen through the use of military terms. In addition, the conflict within the characters, especially in Othello, could be an aspect of war and soldiery as well, through which an inner war is staged within him.

Othello's ability to act as a soldier in command greatly exemplifies the point through which Montano's lines of "For I have served him, and the man commands like a full soldier" confirms it. On the surface, this proved to be a substantial point that aids towards the framing of Othello as a character in being a good commander. Yet, it is in this merging of his public war-like figure together with his private position as Desdemona that inevitably cause the tragedy, through which he thus requires to vacillates between his public and private figure, and when faced with the possibility and doubt of Desdemona's infidelity, he deals with it in the only way befitting of his public self: to regain his honor through killing her.

Clearly, another instance of war and soldiery would stem from the motive of Iago's hatred towards Othello. Iago, being angry with Othello fro choosing Cassio over him with regard to the role of lieutenant, causes him to start his ploy against the both of them. The dissatisfied tone in which Iago states, "This counter caster, He in good time must his lieutenant be, And I- Go bless the mark- His Moorship's ancient" highlights the jealousy felt by Iago who believed the role should be rightfully his, due to his warring experience in "And I- of whom his eye had seen the proof at Rhodes, at Cyprus and on other grounds" becomes clear...