The Transformation of Othello

Essay by muzzy1983University, Bachelor'sA+, May 2004

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In Shakespeare's play Othello the transformation of the main character Othello "the moor", both in terms of attitudes towards life and the state of mind he is in, is the main axis by which various types of other contrasts are worked up. In this play readers are ended up with a final where a respectful and strong general turned in to a weak person that is manipulated by the vicious plans of Iago, the "evil" character of the story. Different mappings of the symbolism throughout characters and their actions and the geographical or cultural features can be made by different persons.

Othello is, from the beginnings of the play, depicted as the figure who carries in his character and personal history the elements from the two different cultures. He is from Moorish origin who in the time of the play, the 17th century has been considered as a culture of barbarism by Europeans and thus by the Venetians.

However his heroic successes on the battle field made his way to the highest ranks of the Venetian army as a general. Not only in terms of occupational success but he also won the heart of Desdemona, the daughter of Brabantio who is a high social status statesman, and they got married. Othello is a symbol of the possibility of success for a person from a different culture and especially from a culture which has been regarded as inferior both on the basis of scientific understandings of the time and the from the point of view of public. So in this respect I think he is symbolizing rationalism against the ignorant prejudices of European culture, a culture being the cradle of "Enlightenment". Iago's vicious plans and poisonous manipulations of Othello's feelings about his relationship with Desdemona carries...