Love, Pity, and Deception in Othello

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In this scholarly article, Shawn Smith, a professor at Longwood University, Farmville, Virginia, aware of Othello dual nature of verbal and visual expression. In the process, he suggests that the use of Othello speech and narrative in the play is irony. Smith has identified Othello's characteristics of narrative and storing telling being nothing else but the mode of self-fashioning. In the article, he argues that Othello happens to have the ability to convince others to agree to his narrative and words (like he convinces the senate Brabantio, to accept his daughter, Desdemona, and Othello marriage).

It is a form of power that has been accounted by Iago who utilizes the same power of narrative about Desdemona adultery, and her relation with Casio to which Othello ultimately postulate. Smith offers an advice on most of the elements of a play, from plot development to degree of deception, from racial bias to jealousy, and from perfectionism to struggling with one's(Othello) own internal conflict. If we consider William Shakespeare use of legal context such as court of love in Othello, they are very useful for understanding the sign of Desdemona pity and love for Othello. In the article, Smith doubts upon Othello love, trust, and pity for Desdemona when Iago easily manipulate Othello with his narrative. Later in the play, use of Iago same narrative and manipulation becomes a key factor for a destructive ending, and in Iago deception of Othello.

In his article Dramatic Illusion of Othello, author Hoover H Jordan, a professor at George Washington University, provides some insight into the concept of diversified Othello's intelligence. In this article, he agrees that many readers deliver a considerable conflict of opinion on Othello making mistakes of judgment just, as rest of us representing the ideal human behavior. There is no doubt that Othello, the protagonist with strong principles and values, comes to believe that all of his former values are false after losing his faith in Desdemona. Jordan article works from the assumption that Othello has a dual character.

  1. He is stupid.
  2. He is perceptive and alert. Shakespeare demonstrates perfect awareness of villains and their methods, though Othello cannot the evil conquering his garden of heaven.

Shakespeare beautifully crafts the play with dramatic irony creating doubt upon Othello's character and level of judgment among readers.

  • My thoughts swing on a edge of dilemmatic analyzation on why the protagonist like Othello with clear and strong ideology blindly and foolishly trust all the men but not the one he loves the most?
  • Does it represent the psychology of Shakespeare while writing Othello?
  • Can it be considered as evidence of the rumor of Shakespeare being bisexual?

In this article, Jordan ideas seem to be very supportive on explaining the foolish nature of Othello as he writes, His error lies not in being foolishly ignorant of evil in the world but in failing to identify Iago with that evil (147). In the article, Jordan agrees that Shakespeare protagonist in Othello makes up his mind too quickly without the proper analyzation of truth. I believe, Othello lacks the ability of judgment that always remind the readers of a line between fact and illusion while reading Othello.


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Love, Pity, and Deception in Othello. (2019, Dec 11). Retrieved December 4, 2023 , from

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