William Shakespeare 's Othello - Fatal Mind : A Man, His Epilepsy, And His Downfall
In William Shakespeare’s Othello, it is jealousy that conquers all, while love is cast down an unfathomable abyss. Over the course of few days, once honourable Othello is broken down by trickster Iago with his wiles and Othello’s mind is overrun with anger and envy. But how could a principled man such as Othello decide to kill his beloved wife in such a short amount of time? If it is assumed that Othello is afflicted by Temporal Lobe Epilepsy (TLE), then readers can gain a better understanding of Othello’s personality, behaviour, and emotional state throughout the play.
Temporal Lobe Epilepsy plays a role in personality. There are specific traits associated with individuals who possess TLE, such as aggression, deepened emotions, and increasing concern with philosophical or religious beliefs. Though not caused by TLE, Othello’s naivety plays a vital role in his aggression. Without difficulty, readers can identify Othello as an extremely credulous man. At the end of Act 1, Iago comments on this:
"The Moor is of a free and open nature. / That thinks men honest that but seem to be so./ And will as tenderly be led by th ' nose/ As asses are" (1.3.442- 445).
Patients are described to have a variability of temperament in which aggressiveness alternates with a humble good-naturedness. This is evident when Othello speaks of himself to the Duke in 1.3, “Rude am I in my speech,/And little blessed with the soft phrase of peace”…