Othello: Moral and Immoral Aspects of the Play Essay

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Othello: Moral and Immoral Aspects of the Play

Certain aspects of the moral dimension of the Shakespearean tragedy Othello are obvious to the audience, for example, the identity of the most immoral character. Other aspects are not so noticeable. Let us in this essay consider in depth this dimension of the drama.

Francis Ferguson in “Two Worldviews Echo Each Other” describes the deception of Iago: how he paints as evil a guiltless association between Cassio and Desdemona:

The main conflict of the play is a strange one, for Othello cannot see his opponent until too late. But the audience sees with extraordinary clarity. In Act II Iago tricks Cassio into disgracing himself, and then takes advantage of the
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Angela Pitt in “Women in Shakespeare’s Tragedies” comments on Desdemona’s faults:

Once married, she continues to commit slight offences against the correct code of conduct for the ideal wife. She is no sooner married than she leaves hearth and home (the traditional limits of the woman’s realm) to be with Othello. She sees Cassio without her husband’s permission and is far too concerned with Cassio’s request. Her plan of how she will discuss the matter with Othello at every moment so that even ‘his bed shall seem a school’, shows far too much self-possession and strong will.

Desdemona has, therefore, some quite serious faults as a wife, including a will of her own, which was evident even before she was married. (45)

Standing out like a dark silhouette on a white background is the sinister character and master of deception in the drama – the general’s ancient. Morton W. Bloomfield and Robert C. Elliott in Great Plays: Sophocles to Brecht highlight the dominant evil force in the play, Iago:

For critics, the chief problem in the play is the character of Iago. The debate usually centers around whether he had sufficient motives for his cruel actions or whether, on the other hand, he is an example of “motiveless malignity.” The question cannot be resolved here, nor is it necessary to try to resolve it. Iago, whether because of his disappointment at

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