Othello Essay

1252 Words6 Pages
Jessie Chamberlain English 112.3 Dr. Henriette M. Morelli 09/07/14 Symbolic and Literal Geography of Othello by William Shakespeare In her novel, Damaged, the Irish author Josephine Hart said, “There is an eternal landscape, a geography of the soul; we search for its outlines all our lives.” The quotation connects to the underlining hint of symbolic and literal geography in William Shakespeare’s Othello. The characters are designed to portray a geographical point and the ideals that are associated with it, such as evil, purity and manipulability. Othello struggles throughout the play as he is torn between Iago and Desdemona, and whom the two represent; all the while his internal compass spins wildly, searching for his essential identity. Othello, Iago and Desdemona represent a geographical place, and tension is created as Othello and his counterpart are pulled between the controls of the antagonists. Iago’s character mirrors the Ottoman Empire in the traits of ultimate evil and the wish to control Othello and his equivalent, Cyprus. The first clue the audience is given towards his evilness is when Iago tells Roderigo, “I am not what I am” (I.i.62). This is foreshadowing Iago’s deceit towards Othello, as he proclaims to be Othello’s friend but is truly a foe. To further drive the point home, Iago swears by the god Janus, the Roman god of two-faces (I.ii.34). This likens Iago to having two faces, playing on the friend or foe contrast. Othello describes the Turkish people as deadly, insolent, savage and cannibalistic (I.iii.134-144). Though Iago is not plainly evil like the Turks, he possesses a duplicitous and cunning sense of evil. This type of evil is shown through dramatic irony, as the audience knows from the beginning that Iago is corrupt, but the characters are unaware. In the final scene, it is directly stated by Montano to Gratiano that Iago is a

More about Othello Essay

Open Document