Epilepsy In Othello
In William Shakespeare’s Othello, it is jealousy that conquers all, while love is cast down an unfathomable abyss. Over the course of few days, once honourable Othello is broken down by trickster Iago with his wiles and Othello’s mind is overrun with anger and envy. But how could a principled man such as Othello decide to kill his beloved wife in such a short amount of time? If it is assumed that Othello is afflicted by Temporal Lobe Epilepsy (TLE), then readers can gain a better understanding of Othello’s personality, behaviour, and emotional state throughout the play.
Temporal Lobe Epilepsy plays a role in personality. There are specific traits associated with individuals who possess TLE, …show more content…
The play introduces Othello as a kind and noble man. He is well spoken and highly respected by his subordinates and the Venetian government. He boldly states that he descends from “men of royal siege” (1.2.25) and that his “demerits /May speak unbonneted to as proud a fortune” (1.2.25-26) as Brabantio 's family. Though the Duke sends the newly wedded Othello to Cyprus immediately, he replies that he is so accustomed to the difficulties of war that "the flinty and steel couch of war" is his "thrice-driven bed of down" (1.3.263-264). In those lines, Othello considers the softest feather bed as flint and steel, the hardest rock and metal respectively. He goes on, saying, "I do agnize/A natural and prompt alacrity/I find in hardness" (1.3.264-265). And so, not only is he used to adversity, but the prospect of hardship makes him eager to go. Overall, he is shown to have confidence and believes that he deserves Desdemona. And yet, once Iago plants the smallest seed of doubt into his fragile mind, things fall apart. Shortly after Iago makes Othello jealous in 3.3, troubled Othello begins to doubt that he is a suitable man for Desdemona. In his soliloquy, he