Shakespeare's Othello critique: A personal interpretation and stage direction ideas.

Essay by thelittlepigletHigh School, 12th gradeA+, August 2003

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Othello is a complex and contradictory character and therefore it is important in examining his individual persona to account for his contrasting personality. The tragedy of the play relies heavily upon his character development from confident to insecure, logical to irrational, calm to temperamental and just to vengeful. This change is not only a reflection of Iago's manipulation but also a revelation of Othello's dark side and flawed personality. As a stage director, it is crucial to emphasise these emotional aspects of Othello and focus on his decline.

Othello's underlying flaws are related to his experiences as a soldier, his insecurities and his excessive pride. His life is based on his military duty and his constant experiences of war and violence have made him emotionally inexperience in regard to his private life. because of this, he is able to understand hate more easily than love, a trait which ultimately contributes to his ruin.

Also, Othello has social inadequacies due to his age, race and lack of self-knowledge which make him a victim to his own weaknesses. These insecurities, caused by racial issues including his interracial marriage to Desdemona, whom he is much older than, and his isolation due to his colour, result sin a feeling of self-doubt. "Happy for I am black" (III.III). Othello is also conscious of his lack of sophistication in a civilised Venetian society making him alienated, despite his position. Another of his flaws is that he is a showman who loves pomp and recognition and takes pride in his reputation, achievements and professional abilities. "The battles, sieges and fortunes that I have passed." (I.III). He does not like to be exposed to ridicule and his ornate nobility and military bearing make him appear arrogant. Othello is also too proud to think himself capable...