An Analysis of The Main Characters Othello Othello is probably the first black protagonist in literature, which makes him extremely popular. He has many positive traits, but also quite a few negative ones. To begin with, he is hardworking, disciplined, and courageous. Despite going through hardships, such as slavery, in his childhood, he rises up to become one of the highest-ranking men in the Venetian army.
You are on page 1of Search inside document 1 Antony and Cleopatra is obviously based upon a dualistic vision of experience, the world of Rome pitted against the world of Egypt. This central conflict also involves the antagonism between Antony, the old lion, and Octavius, the young M achiavellian fox, but it also includes a great deal more than the clash of these two very different characters.
In organizing an initial response to the play, t hen, we need to attend carefully to the full implications of the visions of life associated with Rome and Egypt.
Before launching ourselves in this direction, however, we might also acknowledge the vast scope of this play, vast not simply in its geography but also in the s pectrum of human responses to some very basic questions.
The central force of th e plot may derive much of its energy from a political quarrel, but the play is m uch more than simply a contrast of two political rivals. In the conflict between Egypt and Rome, we have to deal with relations between men and women, sexuality and power, East and West, efficient rationality and seductive mysteries, ancien t heroism and youthful expertise.
If, at the end of the play, we are in some dou bt about where we stand, that may well be because this play demands that we take so much into account. Shakespeare is clearly fascinated with a particular vision of Roman culture. He wrote several so-called Roman plays throughout his career, Titus Andronicus, Jul ius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, and Coriolanus, exploring in each of them feat ures of life for which the Romans were famous, particularly their dedication to efficient politics, the clash between republican and dictatorial visions of poli tical life, and the tough often very cruel masculine ethos which, while having room to honour women in certain limited ways, has little place for them in publ ic life, other than as useful political tools or upholders of very masculine ide als or as producers of soldiers.
I suspect part of the attraction of the Roman setting for the examination of suc h charged political questions is the remote historical time period. By using Rom ans, Shakespeare can ease the risk of potentially offensive characters and scene s the usurpation and execution of Richard II, for example and side step any re ligious issues like the divinity of kingship or the morality of their Christian rule because with the Romans he is dealing with a pre-Christian era.
And, of c ourse, Roman stories were popular material for public theatre. The point about t he pre-Christian era is particularly important in Antony and Cleopatra because i t enables Shakespeare to juxtapose the urge for world domination and the luxury of erotic experience without having to deal with the concept of sin.
In Antony and Cleopatra we are, in a sense, dealing with two Romes--an older one made up of famous warrior-figures, like Julius Caesar and Pompey, world conquer ors and legendary leaders, who extended Rome's imperial control of the world and established a heroic reputation.
Antony is the last of these figures, now a old er man. The new Rome is the world of Octavius and Sextus Pompey son of the elde r Pompeyparticipants in a civil war, scrambling for power as the old figures are killed off.
They come across as decidedly smaller in stature they themselve s at times acknowledge that point. It's important to note that the political fighting in Antony and Cleopatra is no t based, as it is in Julius Caesar and Coriolanus and Richard II, on a conflict of political ideologies, pitting, say, republicans against would-be dictators or legal kings against usurpers.
Here Roman political li fe is a scramble for power, unmarked by any vision of how political life ought t o be conducted. Whatever is motivating Octavius, it does not seem to be based on any sense of serving the public good.
And Antony expresses much the same view of the people. In that sense, the new R ome lacks the heroic grandeur of the old Rome and of the earlier play, Julius Ca esar, which introduces a serious debate about the legitimate forms of government.
But the Romans are by no means villains. In fact, there is no clearly evil prese nce in this play, no one whom we could set up as a companion for Edmund or Macbe th or Claudius or Iago.
Octavius and Pompey are fighting a civil war which they did not initiate but inherited.
Pompey's father and Octavius's adoptive father Julius Caesar were killed in the war, and Pompey's property was confiscated.
Th e world they live in demands that they fight and continue to do so until someone succeeds in establishing a peace. They both realize this and accept that that i s the way things have to be. The strongest sense we get of the qualities the Romans most admire emerges from the imagery, particularly the images which come in the passages where Romans exp ress their admiration for Antony's past qualities.
Notable here is the praise of Octavius, Leave thy lascivious wassails. When thou once Was beaten from Modena, where thou slew'st Hirtius and Pansa, consuls, at thy heel Did famine follow, whom thou fought'st against- Though daintily brought up-with patience more Than savages could suffer.
Thou didst drink The stale of horses, and the gilded puddle Which beasts would cough at. Thy palate then did deign The roughest berry on the rudest hedge.Duke of Venice - The official authority in Venice, the duke has great respect for Othello as a public and military servant.
His primary role within the play is to reconcile Othello and Brabanzio in Act I, scene iii, and then to send Othello to Cyprus.
In the play Othello, the character of Othello has certain traits which make him seem naive and unsophisticated compared to many other people.
This is why Iago, to get his just rewards uses him as a scapegoat. Iago told Roderigo, ” O,sir, content you. I follow him [Othello] to serve my turn upon him “(I, i lines ). Free Essay: In William Shakespeare’s play Othello, Iago, the villain, deceives the main character, Othello into thinking his wife is unfaithful.
Psychological Criticism of Characters in Othello Essay; Othello Is Essentially an Noble Character, Flawed by Insecurity and a Nature That Is Naive and Unsophisticated "Othello is essentially.
Search the history of over billion web pages on the Internet. 4 One of the best examples of this fluctuating feature of identity is the English playwright William Shakespeare (). His name and image have become a sign that encompasses a variety of qualities, a tool for reshaping other cultural objects, becoming a brand most commonly recognizable as sophisticated, important, erudite, complex, artistic, universal, intellectual, a natural genius, initiativeblog.com: Livia Segurado Nunes.
Included: othello essay content. Preview text: In the play Othello, the character of Othello has certain traits which make him seem naive and unsophisticated compared to many other people. This is why Iago, to get his just rewards uses him as a scapegoat.
Iago told Roderigo.