My Perception of William Shakespeare's Othello

Essay by vinneUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, April 1995

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My Perception of William Shakespeare's Othello

        Othello, by William Shakespeare, is perhaps not as exciting as a ravishingly sexy poster

of Laurence Fishburne and Irene Jacob. Yet, with its intoxicating mix of love, sexual passion

and the deadly power of jealousy, Shakespeare has created an erotic thriller based on a human

emotion that people are all familiar with. It all depends on how those people receive it. There is

an extraordinary fusion of characters' with different passions in this tragedy. Every character is

motivated by a different desire. Shakespeare mesmerizes the reader by manipulating his

characters abilities to perceive and discern what is happening in reality. It is this

misinterpretation of reality that leads to the erroneous perceptions that each character holds.

        After reading this tragedy, the depth of Shakespeare's characters continue to raise many

questions in the minds of the reader. The way I percieve the character of Othello and what

concerns me, is that Othello is able to make such a quick transition from love to hate of

Desdemona. In Act 3, Scene 3, Othello states, 'If she be false, O, then heaven mocks itself! I'll

not believe 't.' (lines 294-295) Yet only a couple hundred lines later he says, 'I'll tear her to

pieces' (line 447) and says that his mind will never change from the 'tyrannous hate' (line 464)

he now harbors. Does Othello make the transition just because he is so successfully manipulated

by Iago? Or is there something particular about his character which makes him make this quick

change? I believe that 'jealousy' is too simple of a term to describe Othello. I think that Othello's

rapid change from love to hate for Desdemona is fostered partly by an inferiority complex. He

appears to be insecure in his love for Desdemona (as well as...