Theme Of Ambition In Othello

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Othello, the Moor of Venice composed by William Shakespeare is a tragic exploration of fundamental concerns to humanity such as love, jealousy and ambition. These were all influential aspects of society during the Elizabethan era and have remained applicable to a variety of audiences throughout the centuries. It was these overarching concerns which lead to the capacity of Shakespeare in launching the examination of a multitude of other thematic concerns fundamental to the human condition. Such themes are evident in Othello and include the harshness of appearance over reality, reputation and ultimately judgement. The plot is also largely driven by jealousy and revenge which characterises individuals and emphasises their tragic flaws, allowing …show more content…
These themes inform the audience by providing a contextual insight to the foundations that inspired Shakespeare’s work. As the core to Othello, the thematic concern of jealousy and revenge is evident in the actions and behaviour of characters such as Othello and Iago. For example, the arched manipulator of the play, Iago, is stimulated by the jealousy that “preferment goes by letter and affection” which is in reference to Othello’s promotion of Michael Cassio rather than Iago. Iago’s vengeful nature is then revealed as he simply states that “I follow him to serve my turn upon him”. This statement initiates the disloyalty of Iago as a character, since his jealousy and desire for revenge has got him overwhelmed with self-interest and self-advancement. Therefore, it becomes the ambition of Iago that drives the evil plans throughout the play, which consume the love between Othello and Desdemona. Iago takes advantage of Othello’s vulnerability and speculates with Othello of his wife’s infidelity, which during the Elizabethan era was considered a killing matter. Due to this, Othello loses his ability to reason and falls into the trap of believing without investigating. He becomes angry with jealousy and feels that he has been dishonoured as a man by Desdemona’s alleged betrayal, therefore resulting in the death of innocent Desdemona. As Iago continues to engulf characters in his webs of deceit, Shakespeare facilitates the growth in the awareness of appearance over reality. This is evident as Iago states “I am not what I am”, indicating that he is in fact a character of pure evil. However, all other characters regard Iago as a noble and honest man and often refer to him as “Honest Iago”. Iago relies on this reputation to gain trust, especially from Desdemona, Othello and Roderigo. Likewise, Cassio feels that he has threatened his own reputation at the drinking party in which Iago

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