Othello Bradley Versus Leavis

301 Words2 Pages
Othello as admirable, blameless to an extent and not naturally jealous

A.C.Bradley 1903/4

Bradley’s view centralises on the admirable upstanding nature of Othello ( and Desdemona). He defends the scrupulousness of Othello and argues that he was not naturally jealous.
Naturally this view places most of the blame on Iago as a Machiavellian evil genius.

Bradley sees him as a, ‘most romantic hero’, a ‘great poet’ and a man of ‘great openness’ possessing great ‘trustfulness of nature’
He suggests Othello, ‘is ignorant of European women’ and ‘ his trust where he trusts is absolute’ and ‘hesitation is almost improbable to him’

Quotes from the play to support this view
‘Noble moor’
‘Whom the senate called sufficient’
‘Whom passion could not shake’
‘solid virtue’
‘Valiant Othello’
‘my heat is turned to stone, I strike it, and it hurts my hand.’
‘Put up your bright swords for the dew will rust them.’

Othello as blameworthy

F.R.Leavis (1953)

Leavis claims that the potential for catastrophe and tragedy were intrinsic in Othello’s character in the form of self idealisation and poor self knowledge.

He claims Othello was responsible for his own downfall and demotes Iago to the role of just catalyst.
“I told him what I thought and told no more than what he found was apt and true” Equivocations like the witches in Macbeth.
Leavis comments on Othello’s perceived ‘self centeredness’ and his ‘pride, sensual possessiveness, appetite and love of loving.’

Quotes to illustrate his pomposity and arrogance, ‘Let him (Brabantio) do his spite (in response to Othello’s rather alarming lack of judgement in secretly marrying a senator’s daughter), my services (things done for Venice) will out-tongue his complaints (over-ride)

Desdemona asks, ‘to whom?..with whom?..How?’ (am I a whore?) Othello just responds with ‘Away, away,

More about Othello Bradley Versus Leavis

Open Document