Machiavelli and Othello’s Leadership Skills Essay
There are so many literary works, which deserve people’s attention any time. They touch upon rather different issues: love, friendship, career, lies, envy, etc. Desire to love, lead, and live, I call it like “L3”, turns out to be one of my favorite topics in any literary piece of work.
To my mind, among all literary works, Machiavelli’s The Prince and Shakespeare’s Othello, the Moor of Venice may be considered as the brightest examples, where the authors make an attempt to describe leadership skills and, at the same time, pay enough attention to loving affairs and some other living issues.
The masterpiece, presented by Machiavelli, is a good example of how to get and even remain in future the necessary power, and the brilliant work by Shakespeare demonstrates how unjustified jealousy accompanied with great power may lead to some unpredictable and more negative than positive outcomes.
This is why Machiavelli would viewed Othello’s leadership abilities as a bit weak leader, and Iago’s intentions to take leading positions by any possible means are more in Machiavelli’s style than Othello’s uncertainty and distrust in people around.
The major character in Machiavelli’s work is more inspired by means of concrete instruction and clear goals: leaders should be sure about their powers and follow the rules, which will certainly lead to success. It is not that easy to control lots of people, and this is why it is better to define the steps, which will help to take everything under control and not to be kept by personal fears and uncertainty. The major mistake of Othello, as I think, is his blind trust to wrong people and constant doubt about those people, who are really sincere to him.
The major point concerning Machiavelli is his desire to turn traditional morality into obsolete one. Othello is one of the brightest examples, when a certain leader cannot control own emotions and easily loses his faith within his intuition. The leader cannot be manipulated by some other people.
Machiavelli admits that even the use of mercenaries and other auxiliary forces may destroy the development of power, and a true leader should find out the ways, which will never disturb a real leader and never manipulate him. Machiavelli also concentrates his readers’ attention that auxiliary forces may be rather dangerous (Lawall, 2521) According to Machiavelli, there should be no moral basis, which may certainly describe which use of power is legitimate and which one is illegitimate.
In order to be a powerful leader, a person should forget even about personal doubts and never demonstrate them on public. This is a leader, and no one have enough powers to disturb him or frustrate his plans. Shakespeare’s Othello cannot serve as a brilliant example of a good leader. His internal fight and his jealousy stand on his way to absolute power. His trust to auxiliary forces turns out to be one more mistake that would be never forgiven by Machiavelli.
There is one more point I want to admit in this work: Iago’s words cannot but attract the attention of all those readers, who are eager to find out some pieces of Machiavelli in Shakespeare. “O, sir, content you/I follow him to serve my turn upon him:/We cannot all be masters, nor all masters/ Cannot be truly follow’d.” (Lawall, 2920)
This is where Machiavelli, and this is how his ideas are represented in Shakespeare’s work. Iago does tell the things as they are; and this is what may exactly characterize a leader. And Othello is not the person that Machiavelli would ever appreciate.
Lawall, Sarah, N. The Norton Anthology of World Literature. WW Norton & Co Inc, 2003.
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