The theme of Love In Othello
Thetheme of Love In Othello
Othellois among William Shakespeare’s most famous plays. AlthoughShakespeare died in 1616, his plays are still being performed today.Not much is acknowledged about Shakespeare`s younger years, but hismother`s name was Mary Aden Shakespeare, and his father was JohnShakespeare (Shakespeare, 2005, p. iv). William was born in awealthy, middle-class family his father was both a politician and aglove maker. Shakespeare only studied up to grammar school, where hetook on classical literature in Greek and Latin. He proceeded tomarry Anna Hathaway at age eighteen she bore him three daughters.Shakespeare`s career took off after he left his family behind andheaded to London to become an actor and write plays. With time, hiscareer blossomed, and he became the most famous playwright and a partowner of the Globe Theatre (Shakespeare, 2005, p. v). Othello wasplayed in King James I`s court in 1604 for the first time. Othellocontextualizes the wars between Turkey and Venice these battles tookplace during the final years of the sixteenth century. Most of theaction took place in Cyprus, which was an outpost of Venice(Shakespeare, 2005). The Turks attacked it in the 1570s. Othello isamong the greatest tragedies that Shakespeare has ever written.Shakespeare writes about Othello, a general who marries a Venetianwoman (Desdemona). Desdemona fell in love after she came to learnabout his brave face during times of war. The two lovers eloped sinceDesdemona`s father was against the union. Brabantio believed thatOthello had used drugs and magic to dupe his daughter into falling inlove with him. This assertion, however, came to be viewed asincorrect after the Duke of Venice listened to the cases that bothsides had presented. Nonetheless, Othello later got duped intobelieving that his wife was cheating on him. Various themes emerge asone reads the play, for instance, love, betrayal, and jealousy.Although William used Giovanni Batista`s work, his ability ofcharacterization, poetic imagery and phrasing, and dialoguetransformed the story into a masterpiece. The following discussionreveals the theme of love in Othello and uses Mosley’s “nature oflove” theory to justify various factors about Othello’s andDesdemona’s relationship. The argument reveals that Othello’s andDesdemona’s love transcends beyond physical attributes, explainswhy Othello was willing to lose his liberty for the sake of hismarriage, and shows why the union between Othello and Desdemona wasboth respectful and mutual.
Othellohelps the audience to realize that the love between Desdemona and himtranscends beyond the physical. Othello says “Of my…love whatdrugs,…charms,…conjuration and…mighty magic,…such…I amcharged with…, I won his daughter” (Shakespeare, 2005, p. 27). Othello and Desdemona belong to two different races during thistime, unions among the various races seemed exceedinglyimpracticable. The first person to reveal that such relationshipswere uncommon was Roderigo. He said the Brabantio’s daughter hadbeen taken by a typical hire and a gondolier (Shakespeare, 2005, p.11). Brabantio, Desdemona`s father, was also skeptical about theunion. He contended that Othello had poisoned his daughter with drugsand magic. Even after Othello confessed that he had not druggedBarbantio`s daughter, Brabantio said that his daughter`s thinking wasvery upright and she could not have made such an "imperfect"decision. Thus, one can assert that the love between Othello andDesdemona is classifiable under the philiacategory because Othello and Desdemona are fond of each other. Thelove between these two characters transcends physical attraction. Onthe one hand, Othello is a Moor while Desdemona, on the contrary, isa Venetian. This type of love emphasizes aspects like appreciationand fondness. Therefore, one cannot contend that Othello andDesdemona were together because of their exceptionally attractivephysical features. In fact, after studying Roderigo’s andBrabantio’s statements carefully, one comes to the realization thatsuch unions were not very common during the time that Othello andDesdemona eloped. In essence, Philiadenotesboth “a fondness and an appreciation for each other” (Moseley,2017). Physical desire does not motivate the relationships that areguided by this position they are more like friendships or loyaltiesto each other. Othello`s and Desdemona`s feelings for each otherfollow this direction because the two parties come from differentracial backgrounds and are ready to break the existing norms tonurture their relationship.
Othelloalso proves his commitment to Desdemona through the risks that hetakes on her behalf. Othello says, “But…I love…gentleDesdemona, I…not my unhoused…free…Put intocircumscription…confine For…sea’s worth (Shakespeare, 2005, p.17). Othello relays this message to Iago after being told thatBrabantio wanted to annul his marriage to Desdemona. The play revealsthat Othello was a relatively busy man. If he was not in court, hewas out on official duty inspecting viewing fortifications or on thebattlefield. Therefore, such a person would not invest his time onanything if he was not exceedingly interested in the prospects thatsuch an activity would accrue to him. Also, Othello is willing to goto jail for the sake of his love for Desdemona. Brabantio is arelatively influential man. Thus, it is highly likely that he may usehis high political status to influence the Duke`s decision to jailOthello. However, Othello stands his ground and contends that hedeserves Desdemona`s love. Additionally, he says that his service tothe Venetians will clear him of any charges that Brabantio levelsagainst him. These sentiments prove that Othello cared deeply forDesdemona. Although Brabantio claimed that Othello had poisoned hisdaughter, the sacrifices and risks that Othello had taken to protecthis lover showed that he would never harm Desdemona. Once again, theconcept of philiaemerges. According to the Greeks, philiadenotes “notjust friendship, but…loyalties to family…polis-one`spolitical community” (Moseley,2017). Thus, loyalty to Desdemona can be viewed as family commitmentbecause he has already married her. Othello does everything in hispower to ensure that Desdemona`s father does not break up hismarriage. He also ensures that all his duties to society arefulfilled by attending missions, going on official assignments, andeven going to court after the Duke summons him. All these tasks provethat Othello`s love for Desdemona is real.
Finally,Othello respected Desdemona, and their relationship was mutual.Othello said ”Sheloved…the dangers I…pass`d, AndI…that she…pity them. This…isthe witchcraft I…used”(Shakespeare, 2005, p. 29).For an extended period, Brabantia contended that Othello had useddrugs and magic to poison the heart of Desdemona. However, after theFirst Senator asked Othello to tell the court whether or not he hadused poison or magic to gain the affections of Brabantia’sdaughter, Othello requested that Desdemona should be brought beforeher father to state whether or not she had been poisoned(Shakespeare,2005, p. 29).Also, he requested the court to allow him to confess his love forDesdemona. Othello expressed his understanding of love, according tothe question that the First Senator had asked. He contended thatDesdemona has fallen in love with him because of the war stories thathe had told her. Othello said that his adventures, ever since he wasa child, excited Desdemona he also said that she always went back tohim to hear more. He said the Desdemona never got bored of hisstories, and that she always empathized with him when he told herabout the pains of the war. In the end, Othello said that Desdemonafell in love with him because of the dangers that he had been exposedto. He also affirmed that if he had used any witchcraft, it wastalking to Desdemona about his experiences. When viewed from thephiliaperspective, a person may enjoy the friendship of someone elsebecause his "character and values are pleasing" (Moseley,2017). If one studies the friendship between Othello and Desdemona,he would realize that Desdemona fell in love with Othello because heappeared brave. All the war stories that Othello told Desdemonaportrayed him as a heroic and important figure. Moreover, she mayhave felt that she was safer whenever he was around. In the samevein, Othello may have fallen in love with Desdemona because she lenthim a listening ear. He contended that she pitied him whenever hetold her about the pain that he experienced while he was in thebattlefield. There is also a significant possibility that Othellobelieved that Desdemona loved him because she showed him affectionwhenever she thought that he had gotten hurt.
Ina recap of the above discussion, Othello`s and Desdemona`s love wentbeyond physical qualities. The reason for this presumption surfacesafter the audience visualizes thew sacrifices that Othello makes forDesdemona. For instance, Othello was willing to sacrifice his freedomto save his marriage he also respected Desdemona and allowed her toappear before the court during his trial. Desdemona fell in loveafter learning about the dangers that he had faced during times ofwar. Since Desdemona’s father was unwilling to accept the union ofthe two characters, they decided to elope. Brabantio held theassertion that Othello had used drugs and magic to trick his daughterinto falling in love with him. This allegation, however, came to beviewed as mistaken after the Duke of Venice listened to the issuesthat Brabantia and Othello presented in court. The theme of loveemerges relatively well as the reader acquaints himself with theplight of Othello and Desdemona, as discussed above.
Moseley,A. (2017). Philosophyof Love. Iep.utm.edu.Retrieved 29 March 2017, from http://www.iep.utm.edu/love/
Shakespeare,W. (2005). Othello,the Moor of Venice (1sted.). London: Macmillan.
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