Analyzing the Extract of the First Interaction of Othello after Desdemona’s Murder
The extract is notably Othello’s first interaction with anyone after the murder of Desdemona, the extract shows Emilia’s knowingness of Iago’s manipulative nature as Othello unravels how Iago informed him of Desdemona’s adulteress actions. The interaction fundamentally presents the strength of Emilia and the position of women compared to Othello’s corrupted mind through jealousy and manipulation which has caused such tragedy.
Othello begins reflecting his actions in the moments before, his belief that she was ‘a liar gone to burning hell’, suggests that he is trying to remove all blame and furthermore that she got what she deserved. Othello’s hamartia of jealousy and naivety for believing Iago has led for his representation of her changing from ‘divine Desdemona’ to and ‘impudent strumpet, it is evident that by calling her ‘a liar’ he truly does not know the true identity of his wife, and furthermore argues that their love is a ‘tragedy of misunderstanding’ as suggested by John Wain. Arguably since the peak in their relationship in Scene 2, were Othello states ‘If it were now to die, Twere now be most happy’ it has all turned away from him being completely consumed with love for his wife to instead complete destruction to ‘strangle her in her bed, even the bed she hath contaminated.’
This extract presents the change in racial recognition; although he is a man in control of his wife in the patriarchal society, ultimately he remains a ‘moor’ ‘as ignorant as dirt’, and his race will ultimately take higher priority than his rank as a general. Emilia speaks with confidence and outs Othello as a murderer who ‘hath kill’d my mistress’, ultimately his actions represent the negative connotations of a ‘moor’ in the Jacobean era, and essentially shows that Othello is not ‘far more fair than black.’, arguably todays contemporary audience would put Othello’s actions down to the ‘motiveless malignancy’ of Iago, however earlier audiences may suggest that Othello ultimately did use ‘charms’ and ‘witchcraft’ to get Desdemona. In relation to the question it is evident that people of dark coloured inheritance are lower in the hierarchy of rank than gender and that Othello is a victim down to his race rather than manipulation and allows the audiences to question what would have happened if Othello was white.
The text aims to truly present the difference in gender and how Iago in the patriarchal society prays on Emilia’s loyalty to use her in his Machiavellian plans. Iago and Emilia’s self-destructive relationship, is ultimately down to Emilia’s complicity within Iago’s actions as evident throughout the extract as she states ‘he lies to the heart’, evidently Emilia knows his true identity and is so subservient that she is complicit in is actions too.
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