William Shakespeare was and is considered a poetic genius. He produced 37 plays and 54 sonnets. Indebted to Petrarch, Shakespeare nevertheless devised most of his own sonnets in a form that would come to be called the English Sonnet : quatrains (four-lined stanzas) with alternate rhymes, followed in a concluding couplet. Shakespeare is responsible for the most significant dramatic literature. Indeed, secular drama was Renaissance and England s, most original contribution to the humanistic tradition. (Fiero 3: 98 & 100)
Shakespeare s tragedy in Othello is one of envy and betrayal. The major Tragedy is how Othello and Desdemona s love is denied because of lies and betrayal. The lies caused Othello to kill his one true love and remove her from himself, so that no one else shall have her but him. He also takes his own life after he realizes that why he killed her is a lie. Othello s death showed us that he could not live with out his wife, even after he is the one who killed her. In my opinion Shakespeare s great tragedies have to do with a love that is taken all the way to the limit of death and past it. It is like the story of the Titanic. The obstacles that come in the lovers way, the stronger they try to live for the happy ending and even when they know death is the outcome, they still fight on for there love.
The development of the character of Iago is from the theme of betrayal to the ones he loves. He uses everything in his path to turn everyone who loves Othello against him. He begins by using Roderigo s love for Desdemona, by manipulating him into notifying her father of her marriage to the Moor. He gets Cassio drunk to prove to everyone he is out of control. He then plants ideas of adultery between Desdemona and Cassio in Othello s head. Iago the poison s Othello so that he may hallucinate about the affairs of his wife. When Othello questions his allegations of his wife, he demands evidence of the affair. Iago then uses Emilia to get hold of the scarf so that he may plant it on Cassio, so that Othello may find it and believe all his allegations. The betrayal from Iago further develops because while he is planting all these seeds, he is telling the people he is using totally different stories so they won t catch onto his plans. When he finally convinces Othello that all his lies are truth, he then watches as all the people he used die. He winds up killing Emilia and Roderigo because they try to expose him and he tries to kill Cassio because of the orders of Othello. He then allows Othello to kill his wife and even plants the method of death in his head to use on Desdemona. He witnesses Othello s suicide after he is informed of Iago betrayals and then experiences his own death to his actions.
The growing of the character would have been nothing without the constant betrayal he did to the ones he used and abused. At no point did he have remorse and think that he could stop this at a given point, he just went destroying his loyalty to everyone.
Presented by Castle Rock Entertainment
Directed by Oliver Parker
Production by A Dakota Films/Imminent Films
Produced by Luc Roeg and David Barron
Lawrence Fishburne as Othello
Kenneth Branah as Iago
Irene Jacob as Desdemona
Nathaniel Parker as Casio
Micheal Maloney as Roderigo
Anna Patrick as Emilia
Fiero, Gloria K., The Genius of Shakespeare, Vol. 3, The Humanistic Tradition,
3rd edition, NY: McGraw Hill, 1998