Presentation Of Destructive Love In Othello English Literature Essay

Destruction is thought as 'Causing great and irreparable harm or damage. 'But then on the other hand love has been defined as 'a strong positive emotion of regard and affection'. Predicated on just this is of both words this is an oxymoron; how can love possibly be destructive and when so then is this love real to commence with? Arguably, in Shakespeare and Sylvia Plath destructive love is portrayed to be always a product caused directly by external influences. This can be argued in 'Othello' when Iago manages to manipulate Othello's once secure trust of his wife. Likewise in 'Romeo & Juliet' the external influence of their family's long standing feud ultimately destroys their love. How all three texts were written, the setting and the period of time contribute to the assorted presentation of destructive love. For instance in Othello, published in 1603 and similarly in Romeo & Juliet, Shakespeare suggests that the essence of trust, jealously and social standings play a essential role in the results of love. However contrastingly, Sylvia Plath's poems written between 1956 and 1963 showing another aspect of destructive love by using characters in her poems such as 'Daddy'. The partnership between her and her father is that she symbolises the 'Nazi' as being her father as he is a German and the 'Jew' being her which consequently relates back to her own personal life activities as she states "Daddy, I must kill you" suggesting that she has to kill his control.

In Sylvia Plath's 'Collected Poems' a different type of love is shown in 'Morning Song'; the love between a mother and a kid. The start of the poem starts with "Love set you going just like a fat gold watch" illustrating the conformity of how it should be like to even commence the conception, the symbolic meaning of the "fat gold watch" suggests the precious time of human life where it is 'gold' which emphasizes the worthiness of energy and love. Plath runs on the collective pronoun "our" to highlight the partnership being still together and the love after the baby exists is of a shared love between the mother and husband linking back again to her own life of her relationship with her husband Ted Hughes. The partnership indicates how she had 3 children and this she felt more connected to them when the baby was inside of her and later on there's a feeling of confusion as she feels less attached as the "clear vowels rise like balloons" suggesting that the inner factor may be the baby within her and the external factor being when the baby exists and feeling less attached. The result of the simile is the fact that it paints a definite picture in the readers head indicating that these balloons are rising and they might even possibly burst. The balloon could link to her love on her behalf child and this she is feeling more distant the further the balloon rises.

However on the other hand, Othello is been shown to be an innocent romantic love; but over time seen to be a profane love as the faade has been removed with the aid of external influences such as Iago. Othello is merely proficient at something's such as battle, " for since these arms of mine had seven years' pith, / Till now some nine moons wasted, they have got us'd"; their relationship has many flaws from lack of communication when he is about to kill Desdemona, and then to the lack of trust as she says hardly any to the accusation that she had an affair with Cassio and gave the handkerchief to him. Having less communication is no external influence but an interior one which is also for an extent a product directly triggering a destructive love.

In Othello destructive love is directly influenced by external factors such as Desdemona's father, 'Brabantio' as he is against their love and marriage. The reason why he is against it is because through the Elizabethan era witchcraft was common and therefore he accuses Othello of witchcraft. "Thou has practic'd on her behalf with foul charms, / Abus'd her delicate youth with drugs or minerals". At that time through the Elizabethan era, blacks were considered to be barbarians, and murderous heathens. It is an extremely rare thing a black man would be able to obtain the rank of general in a predominantly Caucasian army. It caused quite a lttle bit of jealousy one of the other officers serving under Othello. However, Desdemona's father, Brabantio and the mainstream of Venetians found it intolerable for Desdemona, a white woman of top quality to marry a black man. Trifling acceptance was presented with to Othello because of his headship as the moor. Brabantio mentioned that Othello had a "sooty bosom" and a "foul thief", which is evidence to prove his racism towards him that just because "he hast thou stow'd" his daughter he does not like him suggesting Brabantio being an external influence with their destructive love.

Desdemona says she has a "divided duty" toward Othello and since her father says "he would rather of adopt" due to him being embarrassed she's fallen in love with a 'black' moor. "Divided duty" highlights the fact that during the Elizabethan period, women had a duty towards men; they had to provide for and be obedient towards them. Also, status played an important role within society as evidently portrayed by Brabantio suggesting how he would have rather adopted after he realizes Desdemona has fallen deeply in love with Othello. Even after calling Othello a "foul thief" suggests further how people within society cause wish to be pressurised; giving a bad image to the Protagonist which in this case is Othello leading him to destruction by other influences and attitudes of other characters within the play. .

In Romeo & Juliet the families weren't the main reason behind destructive love as from the beginning of the play, fate was constantly referred to by Shakespeare, starting with the prologue. "A set of star crossed lovers take their life" where Shakespeare mentions that Romeo and Juliet were meant to die together since it was their fate. Consequently this is what destiny had intentionally planned for his or her lives, as it was crossed through the stars. Therefore the audience recognises that the tragic death of Romeo and Juliet was something was; inevitable. During the Elizabethan era this ideology of fate to the audience had not been something new; that destiny overrides and whether it's designed to happen in life it will. This could be true but alternatively maybe it's interpreted that the families were the main cause for their destructive love; the Capulets and Montagues result in destruction in the love between 'Romeo & Juliet'. Escalus, Prince of Verona says "See just what a scourge is laid upon your hate, that heavens find means to kill your joys with love". The hate of the two families resulted in the deaths of both lovers. The actual fact that due to both families not having the sense to end their feud has sent them a price to pay; their deaths will be the outcome of the scourge that was laid upon the families because of the result of their thwarted love.

The love shown in each of the texts are portrayed in various ways by the authors; in Romeo and Juliet the first 'love' the audience is subjected to is 'interchangeable' love mentioned by Benvolio as he says, "by giving liberty unto thine eyes, examine other beauties", suggesting quite openly that Romeo should check out other women. Benvolio states a man should only love a female for the duration of their marriage, and if however their relationship is usually to be destroyed then he shouldn't feel any grief or remorse. In principle, men must have more authority and be in control over women who are symbolized as objects. On the other hand Romeo is terribly deeply in love with Rosaline however the love so he, "Shut up his windows, lock fair daylight out and makes himself an artificial night. " The imagery illustrates a dark and depressed atmosphere showing Romeo's feelings towards love at the beginning. The fact that Benvolio comes with an external influence on Romeo highlights how society in the Elizabethan era saw women to be 'obedient with their husbands and used to forge alliances' which obviously shows how Benvolio thinks love should be and exactly how men should have the upper submit all cases. This mentality sometimes clouds Romeo's judgement and causes a pressurised destructive love.

Despite Benvolio's attempts to advise Romeo, a reader could interpret this in another view that towards the end of the play Romeo would do anything for Juliet as he says "My entire life were better ended by their hate/ Than death prorogued, wanting thy love. " Which is totally the opposite of what Benvolio's advice is to Romeo; as he states that he does not want to be without Juliet, and when it involves it he would rather be dead. This shows how external influences could affect a relationship but ultimately it is the decision of the type which determines what would happen in their relationship and again linking back again to destiny within the Elizabethan era.

On the contrary, Possessiveness over loved ones can also cause or lead to destructive love. Othello's marriage to Desdemona demonstrates although one can truly love a person, the need for human control can destroy any relationship triggering destruction and turmoil. From the very beginning, Othello faces a issue of helplessness because of his marriage. 'Eldred Jones' has concurred stating that 'Othello made himself available to public criticism and assaults on his character by marrying a white girl'. This shows that jealously is also another factor; Rodrigo is a primary reason behind this as he is in love with Desdemona and due to Othello marrying this 'young white girl' he is opening himself up for a straight bigger fall as he becomes jealous of Othello. Furthermore, the pair's regular skirmish over power and control makes them vulnerable to destruction with their contentment. However, Othello seeks complete control over his wife, Desdemona. Othello claims this as he says, "O curse of marriage that people can call these delicate creatures our and not their appetites. " This highlights the actual fact that love should permit him to regulate her; due to not in a position to a seed of jealously begins to grow being described as "the green-eyed monster". The usage of the colour green symbolises jealously but with envy nevertheless the use of "monster" suggests an animalistic character with a personality cruel and uncontrollable. Othello is continually linked back again to this animalistic character where he's struggling to control his actions. The significance of the frequent mention of animalistic character explains that possibly its Iago's character of being that "monster" or that Shakespeare is wanting to show that Othello always had this monstrous behaviour within him when he "smothers" his wife. The audiences take on Iago's use of "green-eyed monster" is they are alert to his plan and deceit due to his dramatic monologue therefore they see him as the 'evil villain' and that it's simply a matter of Iago's thoughts and opinions whether Othello has this animalistic character within him and whether this product of jealously grows and finally becomes a product of destructive love.

During the Elizabethan era women were portrayed to be possessions by men; the first Senator, wishing Othello well when he gets married to Desdemona says 'use Desdemona well'. The word 'use' appears to connote the phrase 'look after', but also supports the Venetian expectation of women - that they are to bow to the wills with their husbands who may utilise them as they wish. The possessiveness of characters also connect to 'Selected Poems' by Sylvia Plath; in the poem 'Daddy' her father is symbolised to be an external factor which links to her contextual life with her husband being dependent; "Daddy, I must kill you" explicitly showing that she's to kill his control, his possessiveness over her. By saying "have to kill you" also demonstrates the only way to move or to be free from this authority is to cause destruction; thus showing another angle of the relationship between a father and daughter.

Othello's destructive love is caused by external characters such as Iago feeding the "green-eyed monster". Through the entire duration of the play Othello's relationship has changed immensely because of the manipulation of Iago. The malicious attempt in tricking his wife about the "handkerchief" as she is not able to produce is makes Othello's seed of jealously begins to grow. Othello speaks to Desdemona using words with equivocal meanings. While he is suggesting one thing, Desdemona thinks he is talking about another thing. "This argues fruitfulness and liberal heart. Hot, hot, and moist. " In this case, Desdemona turn a blind eye not thinking a lot of his statement. Othello however, is discussing her unlawful, lecherous nature as he begins to speak harshly to Desdemona as he questions the whereabouts of the special handkerchief. "It is words that shakes me thus. Pish! Noses, ears, and lips. Is't possible? - Confess? Handkerchief? Oh devil!". The use of "Oh devil" links back again to the Elizabethan era where people believed in witchcraft and therefore having an influence on the way in which the play was seen. In this particular dramatic monologue, the utilization of exclamations, questions and repetition of words connect to the strain in this scene; Othello clearly has fallen in Iago's trap of manipulation of how Cassio was supposedly boasting about sleeping with Desdemona remember that the audience knows the reality of Iago and his plot due to his soliloquy explicitly highlighting that he will "place the Moor/ At least into a jealousy so strong/ That judgment cannot cure". This dramatic monologue indicates and results in tension in the audience as we can easily see what Othello is in fact thinking and the audience can feel a feeling of his jealously coming out as mentioned by Iago being the "green-eyed monster". These devices used engages the audience and commences to fuel their envy for Iago which makes them feel more emotionally attached to Othello and feel sorry for him in the end when he "smothers" his wife which brings about more tension in his destructive love.

The reason for Iago's manipulation and deceit is at first sourced from jealously; as he had not been picked to be lieutenant. "Come, be considered a man. Put money in thy purse. Follow thou these wars it cannot be that Desdemona should long continue her love to the moor. If though const cuckhold him, thou dost thyself a pleasure me a sport" This shows the essence of why Iago is creating this destructive love being the external influence manipulating their relationship leading it to destruction. If for instance looking back at the Act 1 if Othello chose Iago to be lieutenant then his fuel of jealously and envy wouldn't normally be there in the first place so this shows that Othello instigated his own destructive love through another character. Alternatively, Iago was not the sole character who had jealously for Othello, because Cassio had his own agenda as he was jealous of him and Desdemona. On the other hand to this you can argue that even though Iago did not get the position and "one Michael Cassio" did; that there surely is also another factor that could of instigated Iago's jealousy which was the rumour of Othello sleeping with Emillia "twixt Iago's sheets. ". This highlights the fact there is several incident within the play that could have added fuel to the fire already causing a destructive love between Othello and his wife, Desdemona.

To conclude although on a surface a faade of love has been presented, a more insightful interpretation that is bigger and showing an overview of products of external and some internal influences creating a destructive love conveyed in Othello, Romeo & Juliet and Select Poems. Destructive love sometimes appears in various perspectives by each author at different intervals in which these were set showing an influence that society had on the average person writers. In Othello the primary reason behind destructive love is the manipulation and jealously which in the end brings about the "seed" and the "green-eyed monster" in Othello himself to turn out and cause his own destructive love by killing his wife Desdemona. Likewise in Romeo & Juliet the continuous pressure from society and the "Friar" with the thought of pretending to be dead explicitly had a primary impact creating another destructive love. However from another angle of love Sylvia Plath highlights the effect of the relationship between her father and her in the poem 'Daddy' which had an impact on her actual life and the interpretations of her other poems also relate with the destruction of love in her life.

Word Count: 2, 834

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