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5B October 22 Othello.doc

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York University
EN 1006
Alison Halsall

ENG 1100 B October 22, 2008 Othello, the “honourable murderer” - Tragedy features disastrous downfall of protagonist - Order of Venice vs. Disorder of Cyprus - Othello’s strong military focus: little knowledge of “worldly” matters - “My life upon her faith!” (I, iii, 292)= Othello’s intense, impassioned love - Very level headed, mature, focused, very unlike someone young Othello in Cyprus - Disorder begins to surface - Brawl between Casio and Rodrigo o “Going Turk” (II, iii 161-63) o Ironic, because Othello himself “goes Turk” - Othello surrenders his passions - Othello’s truth (promise) to Iago o “I am bound to thee for ever” (III, iii, 216) = perversion of marriage vow Importance of Eyes and Seeing - Conflict between suspicions and proof - “Seeing is believing” - Othello: “Show me thy thought” (III, iii, 119) o Othello falls prey to Iago’s manipulations - Othello loses faith in cold, hard facts o Believes whatever he is told o “Hearing is believing” Othello and Passion - 4 humours are imbalanced - Tormented by monster of Jealousy - Employs misogynistic language o “Unnatural” and animalistic descriptors o Toad metaphors  III, iii, 273-76  IV, ii, 61-2 - Othello’s collapse - Commits suicide on marriage bed, linking sex with death - Othello’s jealousy and proneness to manipulation seem to be his tragic flaws o Cannot distinguish appearance from reality
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