“One that loved not wisely, but too well” – to what extent is love responsible for the tragic events in “Othello”
Love… what is love? Mankind has been wondering what love is for centuries; still no fixed definition has ever been commenced. Each individual has their own definition of love, for some it means ‘trust’, others it means ‘luck’. It can be categorised as to whatever you desire. One type of love which is believed to exist is ‘Romantic love’ where love is deep and intense – yet based on a very sexual relationship. This kind I believe is present into the love of Othello and Desdemona due to their lack of understanding, trust and communication within their relationship; instead it thrives of ‘lust’ – as to whenever they
Othello confesses about himself that “one that loved wisely, but too well”. Wisdom is to do with our logic/mind whereas love is to do with our emotions. This is a contradiction which symbolises that Othello is also unsure on whether he truly loved Desdemona or in love with the idea of love. Similarly this is linked to Shakespeare’s other world-known play ‘Romeo & Juliet’ which creates the idea of forbidden love, as there is a feud between both families. Romeo claimed he loved another women just before Juliet; likewise in Othello it features the idea of loving the idea of being in love.
Shakespeare wants us, as an audience, to question if their love was true love or simply based on Desdemona being in love with his stories with her ‘greedy ear’, or whether Othello married Desdemona to gain higher status and reputation as he is all for his military occupation.