In love comes an exponentially large array of feelings that can all reveal themselves at one time or another. Among those feelings that comes with love is hatred. Walter Raleigh once stated, “Hatreds are the cinders of affection.” If you can discover sensations of hate towards somebody you love, it is since you really love them. This is why Othello has a lot hate towards Desdemona in act III.
In act III, Iago plants the thought in Othello’s head that his partner, Desdemona, is having an affair with Cassio.
Iago acts unwilling to respond to Othello when he asks him if he feels Cassio is reliable, however it is all an efficiency put on to get in Othello’s head. Ideas race through Othello’s head on why Desdemona would ever cheat on him, bringing out his inmost insecurities. Haply for I am black,
And have not those soft parts of discussion
That chamberers have; or for I am decreased
Into the vale of years– yet that’s very little–.
She’s gone. I am mistreated, and my relief.
Need to be to hate her. O curse of marital relationship,.
That we can call these delicate animals ours.
And not their cravings! I had rather be a toad.
And live upon the vapor of a dungeon.
Than keep a corner in the thing I love.
For others’ uses. Yet’t is the afflict of fantastic ones;.
Prerogatived are they less than the base.
’Tis destiny unshunnable, like death. (III.iii.267–279)
The thought of these self proclaimed “flaws” makes him bring up feelings of anger and hatred, making him question if Desdemona ever truly loved him or lied to him all along.
However, deep down, he still has nothing but love for her.
Othello only wants to kill Desdemona and not Cassio because he feels as if she betrayed him. There was never any real relationship between Cassio and Othello aside from the military, so he doesn’t feel the same hatred towards him as with Desdemona. Othello feels that if he is not worthy to be with Desdemona, then nobody is. He loves her so much that he wants her all to himself. Selfish? Yes. Does it mean Othello doesn’t love Desdemona? No, the exact opposite. It is his great love for Desdemona which drives him to do such crazy things and have such insane thoughts.
In the end, regardless of his actions, Othello loves Desdemona with all of his heart. Never before this was there any trouble in their marriage, only romantic, gleeful times. This shows that hatred and love can, in fact, coexist. Hatred and love may be polar opposites, but as they say, opposites attract.
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