Strengths and Weaknesses of the Othello Play

A profound analysis of Shakespeare’s Othello’ reveals that the article had a number of strengths and weaknesses. Othello is the main character presented as a great warrior who commands respect from the way he speaks and carries out military tasks. These strengths failed to make his personal life admirable because of the weaknesses in marriage and his susceptibility to manipulations by his advisors who made him jealous.

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The tragic play brought out a clear picture of racism and its role on gender. Despite this strength, Shakespeare failed to make his intentions clear about the character Lago’s. Besides, he did not present the protagonist’s fears and insecurities. There are other strengths and weaknesses of the play that can be identified as the play unfolds.

Shakespeare addresses issues surrounding racism, which had affected the peoples’ lives. The logical arguments in the article make the intended purpose to be easily achieved. The perceptions of the black community during this era were characterized by low opinions, being considered as second-class citizens. Despite the pressure from the society, Shakespeare did not present Othello as an inferior character. Although corrupt minded characters like Lago and Roderigo makes Othello look like a disgraceful person through their derogative talks, the protagonist remains an impressive, confident and well-spoken leader in the military. Othello was however torn apart in a dishonest manner which makes one question his soundness and degree of intellectuality. Shakespeare attracts a big audience through the presentation of racial tension. The tension culminated into sexual jealousy and other mind disturbing elements that converted Othello into a killer who even strangled his wife.

The play further brings out feminists viewpoints that make people understand women social values and status in the Elizabethan community. The patriarchal society is determined to restrict women’s freedom, suppress their voices and ensure they always subordinate themselves to men. To meet the expectations of the society, Bianca, Desdemona, and Emilia are forced to conduct themselves within the framework of the accepted ideologies that meet the requirements of the Elizabethan patriarchal society. Iago claims that his opinion against women is partly motivated by my revenge diet’ (2.1.316). Despite their low social status, women are an integral part of promoting peace within this society and ensure that social order is maintained.

Although Othello is passionate, he is not immune to sensitivity as he tries to fit in the sophisticated culture during the Renaissance. To fit into the foreign culture, the protagonist is capable of forming allies and even integrated through marriage, events that heighten their tragic stance against the antagonist, Iago. Although Othello might have wanted to uphold virtue through trust and love to all subjects, it is evident that as a leader, these aspects would have made him vulnerable to being too idealistic. The change of behavior to deal with enemies presents the realistic world of politics that was also supported by prominent philosophers like Niccolo Machiavelli.

Othello’ has a number of weaknesses despite the important lessons learned in the community. The language used was difficult to understand, forcing the reader to repeat some sections although the main idea was easy to follow. Othello can be considered as an unheroic character that is beyond redemption. He is insensitive to his actions’ enormity, always overwhelmed by the powerful emotions, among other aspects that questions the position of a noble soldier. Besides, Shakespeare lay more emphasis on IAGO, who stage manages almost all the actions in the play. Other characters seem to play an insignificant role towards the development of the article’s themes. Once he sets out the plan to destroy Othello, he plotted other mischievous acts to achieve this goal through subjecting other characters to suffering. IAGO’s extraordinary ability to convince other characters to act in ways that make his goals achievable makes him more influential than the protagonist. Ironically, everybody is fooled except Desdemona who is presented as a chaste woman.

Othello does not understand the gravity of the crimes committed although he realizes he made mistakes especially through approving killings. As a virtuous protagonist, he should confess instead of consoling himself in the final speech through his past good deeds. Desdemona murder was not divine and as a hero, he ought not to resort to suicide which is a transgression against the self. Although Iago’s punishment is mentioned, Shakespeare seems to dismiss the villain in order to concentrate on the protagonist’s act of expiation. If Othello is an intellectual as presented in the first acts of the play, he ought to have deeply evaluated Iago’s trickery techniques as a result of missing a military advisor’s position.

Despite the weaknesses pointed out from the play, it turns out to be magnificent and a favorite piece of literature to many, even in the contemporary world. Readers are capable of understanding the thin line between evil and hatred, suspicion, jealousy and the beliefs of evil. Besides, it is evident that even the best leaders in any society are vulnerable to human weaknesses that eventually promote irrational behaviors and the abuse of power. Another lesson learned is that people are not what they seem because deception can engulf anyone. The hero in the play falls in the end after realizing he is unfit to lead the people because of the various instances that prove he was obstructing justice like the murder of Desdemona.

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