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Harley Jean Mr.

Romanowski English Per 3 April 23, 2013 Othello Essay Isolation bringing about destruction is an underlying theme in William Shakespeares Othello that also continually drives the tragic tale and provides a basis for the motifs of sight and blindness along with the symbolism of the handkerchief and willow song of Desdemona. This theme is introduced as the slew of characters arrives on the island of Cyprus and is an aspect that is cleverly manipulated by characters such as Iago to lead to the downfall others. Shakespeare uses the isolation of his characters to create the over lying idea that isolation causes some to become susceptible to their obsessions. Completely isolated the characters themselves become isolated through various means. Emilia is isolated due to her ignorance and Iago keeping her away from the others on the island. After handing over the handkerchief to Iago, in the next scene she is completely unaware that Othello is angry because Desdemona cannot provide the handkerchief. She seems out of the loop and her inaction contributes to the tragedy. Iago cast her aside due to jealously after suspecting that the lusty Moor hath leaped into [his] seat (2.1.) referring to suspecting Othello sleeping with his wife. Emilia is isolated because she is largely kept away from the men and spends all her time with Desdemona as a servant. Vice versa Desdemona is also isolated due to Emilia being her main outlet, Emilia who is not that informed and unable to make sound inferences imprints on Desdemonas tragic end. The details Emilia is unable to pick up on details of her husbands plan,

in turn leaving Desdemona uninformed and isolated from Othello. Shakespeare looks to create the overall theme of isolation through the characters Emilia and Desdemona. Shakespeare creates a character which is drastically different from the culture he is accepted into. Othellos isolation is prominent as it is easily visible due to physical appearance and being The Moor among the Venetians. Being mostly isolated Othello places much of his confidence in Iago. After the fight between Cassio and Roderigo he states Honest IagoSpeak, who began this? On thy love, I charge thee. (2.3.) Othello heeds to Iagos words which fuel his jealousy, contributing to his isolation from Desdemona and inability to think clearly. After Iago tells him of his suspicion of Desdemona not being faithful, Othello is quick to suspect Desdemona but not Iago of lying stating This fellows of exceeding honestywith a learned spiritIf I do prove her haggardId whistle her off (3.3.). Othello is not only isolated physical appearance; Shakespeare also incorporates the aspect that Iago is chiefly the only person Othello interacts with. Shakespeare also uses isolation as a means of driving the tragedy. Iagos soliloquies provide insightful observations of other characters and how their obsessions will bring about their downfall by the means of Iagos vengeful plan. Iago in his soliloquy reveals that I hate the MoorIll pour pestilence into his ear, that she repeals him for her bodys lust (1.3) and in his second soliloquy states yet that I put the Moor, At least into a jealousy so strong, that judgment cannot endure (2.1.) Shakespeare after establishing the isolation of his characters enacts a series of event where Iago manipulates this isolation among the characters to create obstructed views and provoke ill minded actions that led to the deaths of Desdemona, Emilia, Othello and Iago himself.

Desdemonas ability to see past what makes Othello different and Othellos lack of visual proof at various points creates a common motif found throughout the play is blindness. Othello relies on what he hears to pass judgment throughout the play and is made blind by jealously. After his death Lodovico says to Iago Look on the tragic of this bed. This is thy work. The object poisonous sight Throughout Shakespeares tragedy actions were reliant on what had not been witnessed something but was firmly believed it happen. Just as Othello who thinks Desdemona is not faithful and Emilia not seeing what her husbands true plans was. Shakespeare uses various symbols to enhance the overall theme of isolation bringing about self-destruction. Demons and monsters show up a few times to relay what the characters have fallen to and what their obsession has made them become. Another symbol is the handkerchief in which to Othello it represents the faithfulness of Desdemona, and Iago uses it as a tool of revenge. To conclude, Shakespeare uses isolation to drive his tragedy and portray the idea that isolation can lead to destruction. Starting with isolating the characters on an island and revealing the separate character isolations he truly provides the audience with a window into what can be the fatal results. Isolation can lead people to believe what others tell them without much proof or sound reasoning. Without obtaining knowledge for ones self it can lead to giving in to misunderstandings and taking the wrong course of actions.