Essay on Othello : Reason And Passion

1249 Words May 10th, 2015 5 Pages
Yi Zhi Zhang
Mark Robert Cohen
The Nightmare Vision
12th May, 2015
Othello: Reason and Passion
In Greek mythology, Icarus, equipped with ingenious wings of wax, was warned by his father Daedalus to fly far away from the Sun. Overwhelmed by the ecstasy of flying, he soared too close to the forbidden heat and fell into the sea as his feathers melted away one by one. Similarly, in William Shakespeare’s Othello, the main character’s reason brings him success, but his passion plunges him to his own downfall. Shakespeare demonstrates how Othello’s dichotomous will affects his fate. This will be shown through his status and eloquence contrasted with his jealousy and stubbornness. First, Shakespeare shows that Othello’s reason contributes to his success because it elevates him to a respected status. In the play, reason is represented as a noble characteristic. Even if he is an outsider of Venice, Othello earns the state’s reverence for his intelligence and strategic mind. In Act I, the senators address him as the “valiant Moor” (1, 3, 49), the duke refers to him as the “brave Othello” (I, iii, 50), and he is also praised as an excellent commander (2, 1, 36-37). These characterizations reveal the positive consequences of his rationality and how it furthers his reputation. Moreover, because of his prudence and composure as a military general, Othello successfully leads the Venetians to numerous victories. For instance, in Act II, the herald proclaims that “our noble and courageous…

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