March 6, 2015
Othello: A Tortured Soul
When one thinks of the phrase “tortured soul,” most people think of a man who is being tortured without any way to relieve the pain. In William Shakespeare’s Othello, the Moor of Venice, Othello is a torture soul. Othello experienced that sort of pain as he attempted to assimilate into Venetian society by marketing himself as a supreme achiever and boasting of his military exploits (Reitz-Wilson, 2004). Additionally, some may view Shakespeare’s Othello as a tragedy in the same sense as one might view an Aristotelian tragedy. Aristotle contends that one must be a nobleman, have a tragic flaw or weakness in judgment, and suffer a fall in status among his peers (Kennedy & Gioia, 945-947). Although Othello is depicted as being a great General in the Venetian Army, through research, this paper will prove that Othello was being used by the Venetian elite, and therefore the play should not be considered a tragedy. The Venetian elite used Othello in order to take advantage of his extraordinary military skills although Othello was never really accepted fully into Venetian society. Othello created an armor of protection by developing an air of pride and purpose in order to mask his loneliness and unhappiness (Reitz-Wilson, 2004). However, Othello always longed for acceptance socially instead of being recognized solely because of his military accomplishments. Perhaps the longing for acceptance is what prompted Othello to elope and marry Desdemona without consulting her father. Marrying Desdemona without gaining the support from her father resulted in Othello’s being despised by members of the Venetian community, especially by Iago. For Othello, the Moor and great warrior, although respected for his military exploits during war, the hue of his skin hindered his full integration into Venetian society, causing him great pain; thus he became a tortured soul.
Othello, a great General of Moorish...