William Shakespeare's "Othello" is more than just a tragedy. Discuss.

Essay by Alex499High School, 11th gradeA-, November 2007

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William Shakespeare's Othello is more than just a tragedy. A tragedy is a play characterized by the treatment of misfortunes or death of the main characters. Tragedies result in great loss and misfortune. Shakespeare portrays the themes of jealousy, reputation and honour, and love but it is through tragedy that Shakespeare explores these themes. Othello encapsulates the actions and consequences of tragic circumstances and exemplifies what Shakespearean tragedy is all about.

The character Othello is initially introduced as exotic, eloquent and powerful. He loves his wife Desdemona and is greatly respected by others. Despite his overall demeanour, it is only the one solitary idea, planted by Iago that causes Othello to journey into a world of deceit and betrayal.

Jealousy is the catalyst for Othello's destruction. Iago himself, the man responsible for causing Othello's jealousy warned him about it; "O beware jealousy, It is the green eyed monster which doth mock."

Jealousy focuses Othello's mind on one idea, the idea that Desdemona has betrayed him with Cassio. This obsession clouds Othello's reason and his common sense. It is now until the death of Desdemona that Othello recovers from his madness and can see his life in proportion again. He speaks calmly and rationally and when he comes to the full realisation of what he has done, he kills himself. Jealousy is also shown in the character Iago. It is jealousy of Othello's position, both romantically and professionally that leads to Iago manipulating Othello's fears. Jealousy is also portrayed in Bianca in her feelings towards Cassio. She becomes incredibly jealous when she too, believes that he is sleeping with another woman.

The theme of jealous is portrayed through plot device of the handkerchief. Othello views the handkerchief as a symbol of Desdemona's faith and love. To him, her...