Oedipus And Othello Of Their Sin On The Grounds Of Intent Essay example

1618 Words Jan 3rd, 2016 7 Pages
To absolve Oedipus and Othello of their sin on the grounds of intent (in the matter described above), one has to assume the natural understanding of the play; it is, however, possible to understand the characters as having far less noble intents. Sigmund Freud, for example, views Oedipus as having realized a universal sexual urge for a man to have sexual intercourse with his mother. Tayeb Salih notes that in colonial times readers saw Othello as a “convert who reverts to an essential and inevitable form of barbarism” (page 374). However, these views ignore the more sympathetic nature of the natural reading.

There is also an important distinction to be made between Othello and Oedipus. In Oedipus’ tragedy, as Albin Lesky writes, the “driving forces are not feelings” (page 128); in Othello’s, they are. By that qualifier is more inevitability in Oedipus then there is in Othello. However, one should then question if Iago is less capable then fate.

The second level of engagement is our engagement with the plot of the two plays, as well as the host of characters that the plays introduce us to. This level allows us to view the characters’ flaws, strengths, failures, and successes in a context that is as fictional as they are. We can not hope to understand Othello or Oedipus through the lens of our world, as they are of a part of it. Therefore, the powerful and cruel faith, the deceptive Iago, the blind prophet, and the pure Desdemona give us a proper contrast. These…

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