1 Answer | Add Yours
Othello loves not wisely and not well. In fact, I don't think he loves women at all. Rather, he loves his status as a male and Desdemona as a status symbol. So says famed author and critic Salman Rushdie from (The New Yorker, July 2001):
“Othello doesn't love Desdemona. . . . He says he does, but it can't be true. Because if he loves her, the murder makes no sense. For me, Desdemona is Othello's trophy wife, his most valuable and status-giving possession, the physical proof of his risen standing in a white man's world. You see? He loves that about her, but not her. . . . Desdemona's death is an "honor killing." She didn't have to be guilty; the accusation was enough. The attack on her virtue was incompatible with Othello's honor. She's not even a person to him. He has reified her. She's his Oscar-Barbie statuette. His doll.”
Othello's farewell speech in Act V is emotion-filled pathos. He's playing to his audience here, more concerned about his legacy than he is about his responsibility in the murder of his wife. His monologue sounds eerily similar to his defense against Brabantio in Act I. There, he played to the sympathy of the Duke and the reader. His suicide in Act V is handled the same way. His words are all focused on himself, and he fails to honor the deaths of the two females his joins in his bed of death. Even in death, the men steal the show in Othello.
We’ve answered 319,817 questions. We can answer yours, too.Ask a question