Othello's Research Paper

3330 words 14 pages
Among Aristotle's terms in depicting terms in his model of human characteristics is hamartia. Hamartia is when one's flaw or weakness is his or her error or transgression. In William Shakespeare's "Othello," Othello's hamartia is the misconception he has "of himself as being uncouth, poorly spoken, and old; and because he begins to believe that his fair wife, Desdemona, cannot love him, he starts to believe that she is guilty of infidelity. "(classicnote).
Maurice Charney's "Shakespeare on Love and Lust" states that love in a comedy "acts as a generator of plot…The assumption is that the perturbations of love are a prelude to the triumph of love in the end; they provide a kind of education in adversity" (29). The phrase "education in
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Othello does not think of his love for Desdemona in any other terms. Charney supports this, explaining that the love story Othello tells to woo Desdemona "does not speak of love at all…but grave and portentous." (99). Othello's reaction to Desdemona's alleged treachery confirms this suspicious nature of Othello's love. Othello finds comfort in war, explaining to the senators that "The tyrant custom, most grave senators/hath made the flinty and steel couch of war/my thrice-driven bed of down." (1.3.230-232). Confronted with an adverse situation, Othello hastens to eliminate it: "I do agnize/a natural and prompt alacrity/I find in hardness, and do undertake/these present wars against the Ottomites." (1.3.232-235). Very similar to this is Othello's decision to contrive a "swift means of death" for Cassio (3.3.480). This comfort in war, this ease of quickly eliminating the source of misery ("tyrant custom"), forebodes tragedy because Othello and Desdemona's love also exists in this world of war. Because Desdemona is his "fair warrior", he loves her dearly; but Othello then plots to kill her, telling Iago how he will do so in the savage, warlike lines "O blood, blood, blood!...O, I'll tear her all to pieces!" (2.1.180, 3.3.47). Desdemona has almost

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