Bradley vs Leavis, Notes on Othello Essay

778 Words Mar 12th, 2012 4 Pages
Othello The Bradley view (& Coleridge)

• Othello’s description of himself as, “one not easily jealous, but, being wrought, / Perplexed in extreme,” is perfectly just. His tragedy lies in this – that his whole nature was indisposed to jealousy, and yet was such that he was unusually open to deception, and, if once wrought to passion, likely to act with little reflection, with no delay, and in the most decisive manner conceivable.
• But up to this point, where Iago is dismissed (III,iii,238) Othello, I must maintain, does not show jealousy. His confidence is shaken, he is confused and deeply troubled, he feels even horror; but he is not yet jealous in the proper sense of the word.
• Iago's soliloquy—the motive-hunting of a motiveless
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• However, to anyone not wearing these blinkers it is plain that no subtilization and exaltation of the Iago-devil can save the noble hero of Bradley’s devotion. And it is plain that what we should see in Iago’s prompt success is not so much Iago’s diabolic intellect as Othello’s readiness to respond.
• Othello, in his magnanimous way, is egotistic. He really is, beyond any question, the nobly massive man of action, the captain of men, he sees himself as being, but he does very much see himself, “Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them.” In short, a habit of self-approving self-dramatisation is an essential element in Othello’s make-up, and remains so at the very end.
• When he discovers his mistake, (the murder of Desdemona) his

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