Othello’s Image

Othello’s Image

“Othello is a man of mystery, exoticism and extreme sensation, trustful, open, passionate however self-controlled: so worthy … he influences an enthusiasm of mingled love and pity.” * A. C Bradley 1904 This declaration by A. C. Bradley analyzes the Othello character in a fascinating light that perhaps provides an incorrect picture of the play. The first statement Bradley makes is that Othello is “a male of secret, exoticism and intense feeling …” These facts ring true. Othello is a mystical foreigner who holds intense feeling for the battles he has dealt with. The second declaration Bradley makes however is lost on me. … trustful, open, enthusiastic but self-controlled …” Bradley believes Othello to be all these things when he clearly is a male who has many individual issues that are fully explored throughout the play. I entirely disagreed with most of what Bradley stated about the character Othello. When he mentions Othello being trustful I can not assist but think of the jealousy he was conquered with when he believed Desdemona was having an affair with Michael Cassio. Othello never ever sought the responses from Desdemona herself, rather Iago is the one looked for responses.

Othello fell into a hypnotic trance upon hearing that they lay together and that Desdemona has actually given Cassio his cherished handkerchief. This does not appear like a trusting man however one who becomes highly jealous without understanding the full story. Bradley was plainly not thinking directly when he came up with this analysis of Othello as a character and as a person. Othello likewise was not a self-controlled man as Bradley appears to believe he was. Othello was quickly taken over by rage and jealousy which would lead him to unpleasant things.

In Act IV Scene I Othello strikes Desdemona after she mentions her move for Cassio, Othello misinterprets the love she has for Cassio and responds crazily. This highlights Othello’s own failure to remain self-controlled. Another example is Act V Scene II when Othello kills Desdemona. Othello is so infuriated by jealousy and has been manipulated by his dear buddy Iago that he loses all self-control, killing Desdemona in her bed. This highlighted the weak point in character of Othello that he would kill an innocent female as she lay.

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