OTHELLO AS A DOMESTIC TRAGEDY

OTHELLO AS A DOMESTIC TRAGEDY

OTHELLO AS A DOMESTIC TRAGEDY : The main purpose of tragedy is to show the change the ebb and flow of life. The change from prosperity to adversity is not because of misunderstanding, personal rancor and the inherent flaw of the characters. The great tragic heroes of Shakespeare have some faults which herald their tragedies. Macbeth meets his tragedy because of his over ambitious nature. Hamlet’s meets his tragedy is because of his indecision. And Othello’s tragic fate is because of his credulous.

OTHELLO AS A DOMESTIC TRAGEDY

Othello is considered to be a domestic tragedy. Shakespeare has tried to bring to focus the personal and private life of Othello. Macbeth and hamlet veer round the royal themes. But in Othello Shakespeare has presented the vicissitudes of the private and domestic life of Othello. Marital jealousy was a common theme in the Elizabethan domestic play.

Othello is not out and out a domestic play but and out a domestic play but the domestic features dominate in this play and which is why Othello is to be a domestic tragedy. The personality of Othello, his passion and status and perilous adventures for the services of the Duke do not box him to the foul wall of domestic world. But then his innate love for Desdemona and metamorphosis of his passionate love into doubt and suspicion about the purity, chastity and fidelity of Desdemona have been highlighted in this tragedy. It appears that Shakespeare has tried to present the domestic milieu in this play.

True the pivot of the plot hinges on the marital love. The mean conflict of Othello is the doubt and  distrust which has occupied his mind. It is this doubt suspicion and distrust  for Desdemona that poisoned the peace of othello’s mind. The entire progress of the drama hinges on the marital relation of Othello and Desdemona. Othello, a black moor wins the heart of Desdemona. The attraction of Othello and Desdemona for each other is natural. Othello is the most manly among men and Desdemona is womanly among women. Desdemona begins to love Othello to know about the perilous and risky adventures of Othello.

Othello on the other hand also falls in love with Desdemona because she pities him. Othello’s runaway marriage with Desdemona angers infuriates and boils the blood of Brabantio to punish Othello. The runaway marriage in any society causes much ripples in the calm and cool life. Quite naturally Brabantio feelings where so much wounded that he did not ever think of escaping the victims unpunished. But Desdemona’s frank and fearless statement before the Duke in accepting Othello as her husband shocks Brabantio. The marriage of Othello and Desdemona causes much grief and pangs to Roderigo. On the other hand, Iago the perfect villain begins to hatch plans to wreck the happy married life of Othello.

The strategy of Iago begins to work. Iago tricks Rodrigo out of his money, Cassio out of his honour and Othello out of his love. Love and jealousy Jostle each other in this tragedy. Iago utilizes his wife and request her to steal away the handkerchief of Desdemona. That will be his greatest weapon to poison and to create suspicion in the mind of Othello and Iago succeeds in his mission to destroy the citadel of the happy married life of Othello.

The entire play rotates round the personal and private life of the different characters. Rodrigo is made to get the love of Desdemona. Iago is determined to feed the fat of his humiliation and Othello loves his wife but begins to doubt her fidelity and chastity. Brabantio’s fatherly feelings are deeply wounded at the elopement of Desdemona. And Desdemona’s love for her husband is abysmal. The entire action of the play is zeroed in the domestic life.

Thus, we can say that Othello is quite different from the great tragedies- Macbeth, hamlet and King Lear. In Othello Shakespeare discusses the domestic life of the characters and the tragic end of the hero because of his credulous nature. Love, marriage, doubt, distrust, jealousy and intrigue have been thoroughly expressed through the different characters. Decidedly Othello is considered to be a domestic tragedy.

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