Acknowledgment in Tragedy– Othello
‘There are various degrees of recognition in tragedy. In Othello, acknowledgment is very little: the protagonist learns what he has actually done and what he has lost, but learns little or nothing about himself. “How far do you concur?– This is a quote that I have actually adjusted into my thesis, drawn from “A Book of literary terms”. Anagnorisis, a Greek word significance “acknowledgment”, is described by Aristotle as “a change from ignorance to understanding”. I agree with this statement as, in the play Othello, Othello’s character experiences this transition however not fully, he doesn’t get to the point of self realisation where he can be “wash [ed] (V.
II. 278) or cleansed to reach redemption. In Othello, recognition is very little as the character never handles to totally comprehend himself or his actions. In Act V scene II Othello’s last speeches are dignified, but they lack purpose as he doesn’t appear to have a full understanding of all that has actually occurred. He uses his first speech to condemn himself and his ghastly deed. Othello does seem to feel real remorse, as he blames himself, however he almost doesn’t totally recognise that it was by his own doing that she lay there dead.
Othello’s character lets us know that he has actually acknowledged his error, describing himself as “not valiant neither”( V. II. 241) this being a contrast against him formally called “the worthy Moor”throughout the play. This name “Valiant Othello”offered him pride in himself, he had a sense of belonging and for him to admit that he is “not valiant neither”, whilst utilizing a double negative imposing the power and belief in the words, provides us the idea that he understands the depth of the sin he has actually committed, however not how he is called to account. Why is the word “Valiant”utilized?
The word itself originating from the French “Vallant”originating from the verb “Valoir”– to be of worth. We still ask whether he deserved Desdemona, and whether he was all set to love somebody. Othello’s character starts to mention himself in the 3rd person “Male however a rush against Othello’s breast and he retires where should Othello go? “( V. II. 268-269). This might suggest his very first genuine signs of recognition. He gets a sense of detachment and has the ability to take a look at himself and compare his actions as others would. He goes on to describe Desdemona as “ill– starred”suggesting ill-fated.
This brings him back to square one in my eyes, these words showing us that he still believes there is an opportunity that her fate was currently set out for her, and therefore nothing could have been done. He positions duty in the hands of fate– he calls Desdemona an “ill-starred wench”– this barely being a gallant course of action. I found it interesting that he goes on to plead “clean me in steep-down gulfs of liquid fire”( V. II. 278). Utilizing the word “wash”is an unusual way to explain a penalty, as typically it would be connected with filtration and cleaning.
Here he is asking to be cleaned with “liquid fire”but one can not be cleaned with fire, fire is related to burning and damage, and more significantly hell. He knows he will go to hell for it, “fiends”( V. II. 273) taking him back from paradise. In his initial self-disgust and regret at understanding the truth of Desdemona’s innocence, Othello is really anguished. “This look of thine will hurl my soul from paradise and fiends will nab at it.” (V. II. 272-273)– Images being used to describe hell to us and how he sees it through his eyes, “fiends”being another word for devil.
It is clear that he is in torture due to the fact that of her death, however is it since he knows it is he himself that triggered himself to do the deed? Othello is a long way from any such recognition. His metaphors of roses (“pluck thy rose”V. II. 13) and lights (put out the light, and then put out the light”V. II. 7) can be viewed as absolutely nothing more than important, self-protective euphemisms. They consistent him and assure him of what he at first believes (but to us as an audience we see it as precarious).
Othello’s allusion to Prometheus describes his dream to put out Desdemona’s light in order to restore her previous innocence. At the time of her murder Othello appears intent upon house in lovely images and poetic metaphors to hide the wrongness of his deed– he continues to do this after her murder, covering up his sin with metaphors such as “this look of thine will hurl me from heaven”again putting the blame on her almost. He juxtaposes paradise and hell– the “winds”and the “sulphur”and the idea of “‘roasting [in] liquid fire”( V.
II 277-278)– to Desdemona’s “whiter skin of hers than snow “( V. II. 4) this describes his misery, and the virtue he discovers that Desdemona did possess. The two last orations of Othello are honorable in speech and purpose, however do not have comprehension. He uses the very first to assault himself for his awful deed. He provides condemnation upon himself with eloquence and distress. The last speech he gives up his final function as a leader, directing the guys who stay how to deal with what has occurred and showing them he has actually purged or is rid of the evil, inquiring to “speak of [him] as [he] is”( V.
II. 338). Othello condemns his hand for the sin he dedicates (“of one whose hand […] tossed a pearl away”). (V. II. 342) This idea that his body is in some way had with evil, once again describing a detachment, however not by his own doing, is perpetuated in his last words: “And state besides, that in Aleppo when, where a deadly and a turbaned Turk beat a Venetian and traduced the state, I took by th’ throat the circumcised dog, and smote him, therefore. “( V. II. 348-352).
This quote is stated by the character, almost reciting another one of his war stories that as soon as would “draw her thence”( I. III. 146). Othello truly thinks that a malignant Turk has taken control of the good Venetian within him. He still does not see that his faults are exploited by Iago. Although he eliminates himself in such a dignified fashion, Othello is actually thinking that he was forced to do this by some hidden evil power. He never seems to have any complete sense of awful acknowledgment.
This final speech is a declaration of Othello’s private, inner reflection on himself. As formerly pointed out Othello stands back from himself and speaks in the third person. Othello is introspective, and his introspection is regularly displayed by striking and gorgeous images, but this sense of himself must definitely be thought about in any attempt to mask Othello’s duty or at least complicity in the crime for his relying on Iago and stopping working to trust Cassio and Desdemona.
It is a noble speech, and an honorable ending, but like Othello, it is flawed. Othello insists that he is an “honourable killer” (V. II. 291) but he implied to kill Iago out of anger, and Desdemona out of jealousy and upset pride. Iago was definitely the cause for Desdemona’s death and Othello’s jealous rages, but the jealousy and suspicion were currently inherent in Othello. Given that Othello still denies his part in the murder he can not be totally redeemed or forgiven.
In spite of the high manner in which he speaks, his final words show that he does not quite comprehend himself or what he has done. His objective is to tell the messengers from Venice what has actually occurred, but he does not have insight and his words are inarticulate. Othello says he “enjoyed not wisely, however too well.” (V. 2. 404) what does he indicate by “too well”? It holds true that he did not like carefully, but I think that neither did he love too well. His marital relationship is based upon her affection for his stories and “pity”.
And while it may be arguable whether Othello is “quickly jealous” or simply gullible, he does buy into Iago’s tale of deceit extremely easily based on no greater than a scarf that he” so liked and provided [her] (V. II. 46) and the villain’s twisted words. In disaster, terrible realisation (anagnorisis) leaves the lead character to choose to be able to redeem himself. As Othello dies his last words are” I kissed thee ere I killed thee: no chance however this, eliminating myself, to pass away upon a kiss.” (V. II. 354-355). Even these words show signs of the character ridding himself of the blame.
Upon killing Desdemona,” he kisses her” (phase direction V. II. 16), this kiss practically causes him to subconsciously be drawn back into truth for him to recognise her innocence. For him” to die upon a kiss”, in comparing the 2 situations I believe that Othello compares his death to hers, when again declaring his innocence. I consider Othello as a confused character, however through his last 2 speeches I collected enough proof to back up my point, that there is little recognition in Othello, specifically in Act V scene II.