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The Power of Self-Destruction in Shakespeare's Othello Essay examples

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Othello, the Moor of Venice published in 1622 by William Shakespeare, one of the greatest writers known in English literature. Othello has been said to be of the most touching and intimate of Shakespeare tragedies. The source of Othello comes from Girald Cirthio’s Tall of the Moor, considering the modification of a few details, this was a manifestation of Shakespeare’s ability to take a reputable story and elevate it into poetic tragedy (Cahn 106). Othello is the story of love, deception, and power. Othello, an army general in Venice, comes into conflict with his self and social identity during the war between the Turks and Venice. However, it should be taken into consideration at the time Venice was the center for commercialism and materialism, which led to corruption and conflict arising from greed, social status and competition among peers (Cummings 1). Among the multiple of interwoven themes in Othello, The primary theme of Othello is the power of self-destruction caused by the struggles of self and social identity, because of Othello’s, insecurities, narcissistic behavior, and his need for control.
Othello’s own insecurities lead to his self-destruction. Porter writes, Othello is uncomfortable and insecure within the world of Venetians society (30), which ultimately makes him feel as an outsider. If not for his military heroism, Othello would be nothing more than a moor . His insecurities enable Othello to fall victim so effortlessly to Iago’s deception. Iago feeds on his insecurities, reinforcing Othello’s self-image by pointing out the qualities that he values in himself (31). His need to feel accepted is demonstrated through the importance of ones self-image. “My parts, my title, and my perfect soul/ Shall manifest me...


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Work Cited
Cahn, Victor L. Shakespeare the Playwright . Westport, CT: Praeger , 1996. 106-23. Print.
Cummings , Micheal J. Shakespeare: A Guide to the Complete Works . Bloomington : Xlibris Corporation , 1998. 1-8. Web. 15 Nov. 2009. .
Macaulay , Marcia . "When Chaos Is Come Again: Narrative and Narrative Analysis in Othello ." Style 39.3 (2005): 259-79. Academic Search Complete . Web. 15 Nov. 2009.
Porter , Jean . "Moral Mistakes, Virtue and Sin: The Case of Othello ." Studies in Christian Ethics 18.2 (2005): 23-44. Academic Search Complete . Web. 15 Nov. 2009.
Shakespeare , William . Othello, The Moor of Venice . 3rd ed. London : Arden Shakespeare, 1996. 113-330. Print.
Stavropoulos , Janet C. “ Love and Age in Othello.” Shakespeare Studies 19 (1987): 125-33.
Academic Search Complete . Web. 13 Nov. 2009.


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