Othello– Textual Stability
What features of Othello contribute to its textual stability? Shakespeare’s terrible play Othello has the ability throughout time to associate with the intrinsic nature of the human condition. Exposing the vulnerability of mankind, Shakespeare confronts the universal concerns such as bigotry and discrimination, which have a sense of timelessness still present from the Elizabethan age to the modern day. Possibly leading an immortality, the play Othello has the ability to be translated by each individual in a different way through the complex language and understanding which guarantees its validity in different contexts in society.
These diverse interpretations include my own which has even more formed an insight on the concern of human emotion such as jealousy and love, when rational reasoning is subdued by these sporadic psychological dispositions. The collapse of Othello from a steady and logical hero, to a male driven insane by enthusiasm is a prime example of this, also framing the power of society on a private choices and development as a character. Society’s treatment of the outsider and those with different traits and characteristics from the majority, plants the seeds which can cultivate into a mass of insecurities.
Although depicted as the hero of the play, the bigotry and class/wealth based discrimination towards Othello exists from the start, with the continuous tip of his distinctions through the racial slurs and recommendations as “moor” “thick lips” and “monster”. This racial prejudice impacts Othello’s view of himself as “not worthy of love,” and his self-confidence throughout the play weakens, as his minimal approval in the society takes a toll.
This thematic concern is one which is repeated in numerous other modern literary texts as the concept of being an outsider is relatable to almost everyone. In the opening of the play, Brabantio’s commitment as Othello’s buddy is rapidly altered, when learning about his relationship with his child Desdemona. Using bestial imagery is juxtaposed in “an old black ram is tupping your white ewe,” which spreads a mistaken belief of Othello’s character, and recommends immorality and illegal enthusiasm in his and Desdemona’s consensual relationship.
Nevertheless, since the time of the plays conception, bigotry has actually developed to a degree with animalistic and racist comments being inappropriate. Othello primarily highlights the treatment of an outsider in society, which although in the Elizabethan age was required to an extreme, still exists today. As a universal issue of discrimination and racism, this develops the timelessness of the play, with liberal arts issues being the very same today as they were over 500 years earlier.
Mankind itself has traits which at some point all individuals must experience the negative side of. Othello captures these by illustrating the unfavorable undertones associated with the human conditions of jealousy, love and trust. As a character Othello is deeply moved by both love and jealousy which leads him on a course of wear and tear. The development of Othello’s character continues its spiral downwards where he describes himself as “a horned male” capturing onto society’s bestial portrayal.
Although embarrassed of this descent, he no longer is geared up with his earlier pride and confidence, hence gives in to the insecurity of his often overblown nature. As the play concludes, Othello’s language becomes more base as his rationality decreases and jealousy grows. The characterisation of Iago as cunning, apathetic, and manipulative, serves as the polar opposite of Othello whose compassion and love for Desdemona turns to extremes as he ironically utilizes his love as factor for her murder.
By feeding Othello lies and ideas of Desdemona’s cheating, the depth of his insecurities are exposed further, when figuratively compared to Cassio who “hath a daily appeal that doth make me ugly”. In the metaphor: “it is the green eyed monster which doth mock the satisfy it eats,” Iago teases Othello with the incorrect knowledge of Desdemona’s affair with Cassio, and utilizing the meaning of the ‘green eye beast’, implies reason to be envious and take action versus Desdemona.
Acting out of jealousy and enthusiasm, Othello’s insecurity of not being “worthwhile” and able to be loved is exposed even more; and he questions himself on whether their relationship is abnormal, or as stated in the hyperbole “nature erring from itself”. The development of both Iago and Othello as characters depicts the concept modern society likes to discuss, where mankind might have both good and evil characters. Their development as characters likewise shows the consistency of the text and its capability to associate with those who have actually been unlucky in love.
As a text Othello might likely be critically evaluated for centuries to come as its perceptive and descriptive nature and its usage of convectional literary and language methods have actually enabled readers to gain several analyses in its contexts. The play upon both universal issues such as discrimination in society, and those in all human conditions consisting of love and jealousy, guarantee the capability to relate to its readers, sparking emotion and thought, along with ensuring its stability for years to come.