Othello: Truly the "noble Moor"

Essay by aznbrothersyHigh School, 12th grade March 2004

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For obvious reasons, the nearly paradoxical coupling of Othello's deeply noble nature and the murder of his beloved wife have been a dynamic topic of scholar's and critic's conversation for many years. Some believe that it is not possible for a human being to commit murder and also have a truly noble character. Leavis believes that Othello is egotistical and self-involved, and in no way noble. Yet Bradley, the most distinguished of the critics of Othello, understands that Othello is quintessentially noble and is still able to maintain this nobility after Desdemona's death. In spite of the controversy surrounding Othello's murder of his wife, his greater motives of salvation in this act allow him to retain the inherent nobility proved by both his controlled actions and passionate character; his blind faith and trust further demonstrate this nobility, yet his trust in Iago is what eventually lead him spiraling onto the path of his own destruction.

The bright white light of Othello's character shines through his actions and language, regardless of situation, and displays the honest and noble essence of his heart and mind. Othello's self-control and elevated stature, paired with his passionate and poetic speech, allow him to establish his persona as an eloquent and respectable Moor.

In the face of Brabantio's vehement accusations of the kidnapping and rape of his daughter, Othello replies "as truly as to heaven I do confess the vices of my blood... I'll present how I did thrive in this fair lady's love, and she in mine" (Shakespeare 1.3.143-145). He shows the intensity of his love for Desdemona by using blood and religious imagery, while at the same time demonstrating self control by slowly building his defense rather than rushing to plead his innocence or giving excuses. Even his...