Friday, October 21, 2011

Othello's Regression

I was wondering what to write about, this week I have the assignment of applying the play Othello to something important to me and also to connect this to a social discovery I was to make. As I was searching for what others have to say about Othello I found something perfect.

To me, the greatest miracle, the happiest thing, that which moves me most, is the miracle of a change of heart. The miracle of seeing a person change their life completely and become new, through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Therefore, one of the saddest things is to see someone throw away all that is beautiful in life and turn to base things and become despairing. This is exactly what happens to Othello.

At the start of the play Othello is a man who everyone admires and looks up to. He is calm, well-judging, full of intergrity, and good to the core. When he is accused of stealing away Desdemona he doesn't run from his accusators, but has full confidence to answer for himself saying:

Not I, I must be found:
My parts, my title and my perfect soul
Shall manifest me rightly. 

Through the play I was surprised to read as his words became harsh and hurting. He goes from loving his wife completely to physical abuse within days. In the BBC production of the play I watched as he went from being calm and collected at all times to working himself into a raging fit of epilepsy, it was somewhat disturbing.

Nothing is more beautiful than a man changing for the better, and nothing is more tragic than sin and regression to the natural man. by joshcorris
Searching for what other people have to say about this I found a website about the King James Bible. There was a post about the Bible and Othello which gave some very interesting insights. I left a comment on the post and this is what I said. 

"I really enjoy your post here. In my college course on Shakespeare I am doing a study of the play Othello right now and I am assigned to apply it to something important to me in life. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints the King James Bible is very important to us. I really like the connections between Othello and the gospel.

In my blog about Shakespeare I posted about how he uses his plays as a way of teaching the masses about morality, it seems so evident because so many of his plays have such strong religious undercurrents. The ones that you found in Othello were especially intriguing. Especially the one about Iago’s play on words “I am not what I am” being a connection to God. Iago seems to think himself God in the play, judging who should be punished, what lives should be taken, and he has great power over the world of the play Othello. It shows how twisted Iago is to make that allusion. Unfortunately he is all of these without the love and mercy of our Heavenly Father.

Othello as Judas, then that would make Iago Satan who “entered into Judas surnamed Iscariot” (Luke 22:3). This is one of the greatest tragedies Shakespeare wrote about, how a pure honest love could be so tainted and then destroyed as soon as one allows Satan and his lies into their mind. Judas allowing Satan in allowed his love for The Perfect Individual, Jesus Christ, to become tainted until it led to dead, and his subsequent suicide parallels well with Othello’s. This was a very interesting connection you made as well."

Shakespeare was teaching the masses again about how we should be, and letting them learn vicariously the tragedy of sin and jealousy, letting both consume you.


  1. I love this connection to yourself. It is so very personal to me, as well, and that makes it all the more interesting. I'm very curious as to what other connections you may make and find. This is such a cool parallel that I'd never thought about before; thanks for not being afraid to bring it up.
    It also goes really well with one of the themes I see in Othello. It is that choices create the person and the character, not an image or skin color or a name. It is only what you choose to do (or who you choose to follow) that defines if you are good or bad.

  2. Thanks, I really like the connection you made about the things we do defining us, not the external things. It's very Batman Bruce Waine, it's not who I am, but what I do that defines me. Cool insight.