Danger of Isolation

Othello is a Shakespearean tragedy which depicts the incompatibility of military heroism and love; the danger of isolation. I personally think that Othello conveys the balance of human strengths and weaknesses amidst good and evil in society. In my opinion, Othello is a cultural and a racial outsider who is a bold, strong, courageous, naive and foolish. Throughout the play Othello represents the strengths and weaknesses in society. The villain, Iago is fascinating for his most terrible characteristic: his utter lack of convincing motivation for his actions.

Iago is often funny, especially in his scenes with Roderigo, which serve as a showcase of Iago’s manipulative abilities. It is Iago’s talent for understanding and manipulating the desires of those around him that makes him both a powerful, evil and interesting character. I think that Iago represents those in society who desire power and vengeance. Desdemona is a more plausible, well-rounded figure than much criticism has given her credit for. Desdemona is at times a submissive character, most notably in her willingness to take credit for her own murder. Jealousy has the power to destroy.

It destroys both Iago, jealous that Michael Cassio has received an appointment over him, and Othello, who is jealous that his wife may love Cassio. Many things can cause a person to choose to isolate themselves like: sickness, hurt feeling, confusion, fear, embarrassment, confrontation, loneliness, shame, anger and inferiority. These things are believed to carry a pain which cannot be shared with others and must be dealt with in seclusion. However, Isolation weakens your defenses. In the bible it states, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.

A cord of three strands is not broken easily” (Ecclesiastes 4: 12). This can interpreted that it is better surround your self with others company for greater forces. It is said that people who isolate themselves are sometimes arrogant. They believe that they are able to stand alone and fight battles. They should humble themselves because they could always use help. A person that is isolated is easier to defeat than someone who stands with an “army. ” Shakespeare focuses more on the differences in color and age between Othello and Desdemona than Cinthio.

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Shakespeare does this to escalate Othello’s isolation from the rest of Venetian society and to display Othello’s vulnerability due to his color. In the tragedy not only is Othello susceptible to weaknesses but so is every major character. The tragedy reminds humans that even one’s good nature can be taken advantage of for the worse. The drama Othello expresses, through relationships and emotional attitudes, a theme that all humans are vulnerable to destruction even if they are in positions of power and glory. 1. No comments The action of Othello moves from the town of Venice to the island of Cyprus.

Protected by military bases as well as by the forces of nature, Cyprus faces little threat from external forces. Once Othello, Iago, Desdemona, Emilia, and Roderigo have come to Cyprus, they have nothing to do but prey upon one another. Isolation enables many of the play’s most important effects: Iago frequently speaks to himself. Othello stands apart while Iago talks with Cassio in Act IV, scene i, and is left alone onstage with the bodies of Emilia and Desdemona for a few moments in Act V, scene ii; Roderigo seems attached to no one in the play except Iago.

And Othello is visibly isolated from the other characters by his physical stature and the color of his skin. Iago is an expert at manipulating and isolating his victims so that they fall prey to their own obsessions. At the same time, Iago, of necessity always standing alone, falls prey to his own obsession with revenge. The characters cannot be islands, the play seems to say: self-isolation as an act of self-preservation leads ultimately to self-destruction. Such self-isolation leads to the deaths of Roderigo, Iago, Othello, and even Emilia.

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