How Does Othello Rate? Essay

1959 words - 8 pages

How Does Othello Rate?  

   Is this the best, the second-best, the worst of William Shakespeare’s tragedies? Where does it place in the lineup? Let’s consider where it deserves to be and why in this essay.


The play is so quotable; consider Desdemona’s opening lines before the Council of Venice: “My noble father, / I do perceive here a divided duty,” or Othello’s last words: “Killing myself, to die upon a kiss.” Could the continuing reputation of Othello be attributed to the quotable “ultimate form” in which the Bard of Avon expressed his ideas? Robert B. Heilman says in “The Role We Give Shakespeare”:


If we use the word “support,” however, we do name a way in which Shakespeare serves. It is the way of venerable texts whose authenticity has impressed itself on the human imagination: he has said many things in what seems an ultimate form, and he is a fountainhead of quotation and universal center of allusion. “A rose by any other name” comes to the mouth as readily as “Pride goeth before a fall,” and seems no less wise. A quotable line is one that has shed its context and taken on independent life. Very significantly, Shakespeare scenes and character relationships have also taken on independent life and have provided basic formulations upon which other writers rely. (24-25).


Francis Ferguson in “Two Worldviews Echo Each Other” ranks the play Othello quite high among the Bard’s tragedies:


Othello, written in 1604, is one of the masterpieces of Shakespeare’s “tragic period.” In splendor of language, and in the sheer power of the story, it belongs with the greatest. But some of its admirers find it too savage. . . .(131)


The Bard’s presentation of emotions, character, of good and evil actions that are down-to-earth – these are sometimes seen as the main reasons for the high ranking of Othello. Louis B. Wright and Virginia A. LaMar in “The Engaging Qualities of Othello” maintain that the popularity of this play has been consistent for about 400 years and they tell why:


Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello has enjoyed popularity on the stage from the author’s time to our own. It has remained a living drama over the centuries because it treats emotions that are universal and persistent in human nature. Its characters do not exist on a plane far removed from ordinary life; we are not asked to witness the conflict of kings and conspirators beyond the experience of everyday people; we are not involved in the consequences of disasters on a cosmic scale; what we witness is a struggle between good and evil, the demonstration of love, tenderness, jealousy, and hate in terms that are humanly plausible. (126)


The realistic aspect of the play presents a full range of characters, a full range of emotions, a full range of motivations, a full range of actions – just as are present in real society. The down-to-earth consideration is very important to Othello’s enduring popularity.



Find Another Essay On How Does Othello Rate?

How does Iago manipulate Othello in Act 3?

1732 words - 7 pages too little. Let it alone."When Desdemona advocates on Cassio's behalf, she initiates the first real conversation she has had with her husband throughout the play. She also displays her strong, generous, and independent personality. In addition to his burgeoning suspicion, Othello's moodiness may also result from his dislike of Desdemona herself. Only once Desdemona has left does Othello recover somewhat: "Excellent wretch!" he says affectionately

How does Iago manipulate Othello, Cassio, and Roderigo?

1530 words - 6 pages with Cassio, Othello', being already insecure with himself falls deep into Iago's trap. Besides the fact that he is older than his wife, Othello also has insecurities about his race. He is a black man living among white men who are sometimes make judgments about his race and how it affects his work. In addition, to his fears, Othello has passionate nature does not allow him to think over what he hears or if it is true, but let his jealousy take

Investigation: How does the concentration affect the rate of a reaction?

1645 words - 7 pages Investigation:How does the concentration affect the rate of a reaction?Aim:To investigate the effect of concentration on the rate of a chemical reaction between sodium thiosulphate solution and hydrochloric acid.Reaction:I will investigate the reaction between different concentrations of sodium thiosulphate solution with hydrochloric acid.Na2S2O3(aq) + HCL(aq) = S(s) = H2O(l) + SO2(g) + NaCl(s)(sodium thiosulphate + hydrochloric acid = sulphur

How does the length of Magnesium affect the rate of reaction?

1197 words - 5 pages How does the length of Magnesium affect the rate of reaction? Input Variables – Magnesium strip Hydrochloric acid Outcome Variable - Release of hydrogen I have chosen to investigate whether the difference in length of a Magnesium ribbon, would change the speed in which the reaction between Hydrochloric acid and Magnesium takes. We will measure this by timing how long until the magnesium strip vanishes and there is no release of

Investigation: How does channging the concentration of a substance affect the rate of reaction?

3909 words - 16 pages A chemical reaction is the process by which atoms or groups of atoms are redistributed, resulting in a change in the molecular composition of substances.The reaction rate is how quickly a reaction occurs. I will be using the reaction rate during my investigation to see how the concentration of acid effects the reaction rate. To do this I will be using the following reactionHydrochloric + Calcium Ü Calcium + Carbon

“How does Shakespeare Encourage the Audience to Pity the Character of Othello?”

1092 words - 5 pages , Abused her delicate youth with drugs or minerals.” Brabantio is accusing Othello of witchcraft and trickery, and suggesting that no one could ever love him without the influence of his evil witchcraft. The audience feels pity for Othello because they know that Othello loves Desdemona and that he is a kind man, and is receiving these insults because of his race. The audience realises that he is already at a disadvantage after seeing how these

How far does the context of war and soldiery contribute to the tragedy in Shakespeare's "Othello"?

1089 words - 4 pages Othello's mind which eventually causes Othello to break down from his noble position into a "horned monster" brings out the position of how war and soldiery does lead to the impending tragedy.Likewise, Othello's perception of Desdemona also introduces this factor into the play, through which a gradual subversion from "fair warrior" to that of a "cunning whore of Venice" nonetheless shows the moral degradation that Othello undergoes, becomes a reason

Heart Health: How Does Heart Rate Change with Exercise?

1137 words - 5 pages heart desire more oxygen, causing the heart rate to increase rapidly to keep up with activity demand. History of the Heart The science and history of the heart can be traced back as far as the fourth century B.C. Greek philosopher, Aristotle, declared the heart to be the most vital organ in the body based on observations of chick embryos. In the second century A.D, similar ideas were later reestablished in a piece written by Galen called On the


585 words - 2 pages himself. Iago drives Othello mad with his lies and convinces Othello to kill his wife. Othello does not wish to hurt his wife, but after agreeing, wishes to do it peacefully. Iago fills Othello's head with the idea that she deserves to suffer, and it should be accomplished through suffocation. When Emilia reveals the lies, and unveils how brutally Othello was manipulated, he grows angry and attacks Iago. Othello gains some of his sanity back, and

The Pride of Othello

1034 words - 4 pages proves his loyalty to Desdemona in showing that he will not let anyone come between them. Soon after, Othello and Desdemona prove their love by refusing to leave each other. The Duke informs Othello that the Turks have invaded Cyprus. Othello, not wanting to leave her, asks Desdemona to come along; however, Brabantio does not wish for Desdemona to join Othello. When the Duke suggests that she should stay with Brabantio, none agree: "I crave

Othello as Tragic Hero

1710 words - 7 pages not even attempt to fight because he poses no match to the awesome Othello. He then says 'Good Signior, you shall more command with years than with your weapons', which shows how Othello doesn't rate Brabantio as a fighter, but recognises the fact that he is experienced in life. Othello's charisma is echoed in the way he influences other characters. For most people during Jacobean times, black people were seen as

Similar Essays

How Does Iago Persuade Othello Essay

954 words - 4 pages In Act 3 Scene 3, how does Iago persuade Othello of Desdemona’s supposed infidelity? Act 3 Scene 3 is, arguably, the most important scene in the entire play, for it is the point of no return. It is as if for the entire beginning of the play you were pushing a huge boulder up a steep mountain, and in this scene you reach the top, and push it down the other side, helpless to stop it. This is how I see the action in Othello. Iago

How Does Iago Persuade Othello Essay

954 words - 4 pages In Act 3 Scene 3, how does Iago persuade Othello of Desdemona's supposed infidelity? Act 3 Scene 3 is, arguably, the most important scene in the entire play, for it is the point of no return. It is as if for the entire beginning of the play you were pushing a huge boulder up a steep mountain, and in this scene you reach the top, and push it down the other side, helpless to stop it. This is how I see the action in Othello. Iago spends the whole

How Does Beatles Music Alter Heart Rate?

1046 words - 5 pages songs that are five different genres to compare how the human heart rate reacts with different genres of music by one artist. The test subjects will be ten teenagers and ten adults, half male and half female. Their heart rate will be tested before and then they will listen to 30 seconds of the song and then tested again. There will be two-minute breaks. It is hypothesized that the songs with faster tempos will make the subjects heart rate go

How Does Light Intensity Affect The Rate Of Photosynthesis?

2729 words - 11 pages How does light intensity affect the rate of photosynthesis?Poorly PondweedQuestions1) How does light intensity affect the rate of photosynthesis?2) How does temperature affect the rate of photosynthesis?sunlightcarbon dioxide + water glucose + oxygenchlorophyllsunlight6CO2 + 6H2O àààààà C6H12O6 + 602chlorophyllPredictionI predict that the more intense the light, the higher the rate of photosynthesis. To
Bolígrafo Xiaomi Mi Aluminium Rollerball Silver Gold White Replacement | Norton Antivirus paid apk download | Tim Draxl