Approach of William Shakespeare’s Othello “Jealousy is bred in doubts. When those doubts change into certainties, then the passion either ceases or turns absolute madness,”- Francois De La Rochefoucauld. All people have the seed of jealousy inside them. However, the doubts of one’s self help grow the seed of jealousy. Othello was never what seemed to be a jealous man but when Iago led him to believe Desdemona was being unfaithful, Othello started to show his side of jealousy which ultimately led to his self destruction.
Othello’s ego is shown through his indecisive decision and the wavering of his judgement. Othello’s primal instincts take over consuming his ego and superego leading him to his downfall. Finally, Othello superego prevails in his reasonable decisions throughout the play. In William Shakespeare’s Othello, Othello starts off as a rational and moral character. As the play progresses, Othello becomes consumed by jealousy and he deteriorates resulting in his overactive ID and superego leading to his destruction.
Othello appears as a fair and reasonable character from what the audience can see. His psyche is initially balanced and he does not seem like a character that would be despicable by Iago. Initaly, Othello’s ego becomes visible when he get brought to court and Brabantio is accusing Othello of “witchcraft” on his daughter Desdemona, to make her fall in love with him. Othello reacts calmly and says “hold your hands, both you of my fight, i should have known it without a prompter. Whither will you that i go to answer this your charge. ” ( Shakespeare 1. 84-86 )Through the use of words, Othello is able to communicate reason towards the court showing his prevailing ego. In addition, Othello once again reveals his ego, when he’s in the court and allows Desdemona to speak on his behalf, showing his reasonable and mature actions. Othello says, “And till she come as truly as to heaven I do confess the vices of my blood”. ( Shakespeare 1. 3 124-125) Othello responds very reasonably as he states his opinions rather than starting an argument. Therefore displaying his ability to control his ID like qualities.
Finally, before Othello kills Desdemona, he experiences self conflict as he is trying to decide weather or not to act on this murder, thus displaying his ability to decipher between good and bad. Overall Othello demonstrates his ego because no one is manipulating him in the beginning of the play Othello is his own person, and his love for Desdemona is so strong that nothing is getting in the way. However this changes when Iago starts his lies into othello. Othello started off as the character that compassion could not shake but quickly his character took a turn for the worse and an immense character change occurred.
Through out the middle of the play ID has overcome his character which ultimately causes his falling point. For instance, during the last acts of the play,Othello slaps Desdemona and says, “devil…. if that the earth could teem with women’s tears, each drop she falls would prove a crocodile. Out of my slight. “(Shakespeare 4. 1 231- ) His character looks horrific and this kind of violence was frown upon. Othello striking Desdemona shows his ID like qualities coming out and not being able to control his anger at all times.
Towards the end of Othello, after he questions Emilia on Desdemona’s loyalty, Othello says to Desdemona, “oh, ay as summer flies are in the shambles, That quicken even with blowing. O thou weed, who art so lovely fair and smell’st so sweet that the sense aches at thee, would thou hadst ne’er been born! ” ( Shakespeare 4. 2 69-73 ) Othello is stating that Desdemona is unfaithful and wishes she was never born, nonetheless Othello has lost all of his moral and values through his desires caused by Iago. In addition, Iago dominates over Othello’s psyche creating an ID behaviour by informing the idea that othello should kill his innocent wife.
After Iago tells him about Cassio using the handkerchief this prevailed othello into killing him own naive wife, ” get me some poison Iago this night, ill not expostulate with her, lest her body and beauty unprovided my mind- this night Iago”. (Shakespeare 4. 1 194-196) This demonstrates the ID behaviour for the reason that his desire overpowers his voice of restraint ultimately leading to him killing desdemona. Othello’s id is fuelled by Iago since his reputation and needs to not be seen as a fool are eventually more important to him than his own wife.
In the last sense on the play Othello’s ID developed even stronger into an overactive Id this is shown when othello walks into the room when Desdemona is sleeping in her wedding sheets. Othello begins to speak to himself to justify his reason to preform an immoral action, ” it is the cause, it is the cause my soul “. ( Shakespeare 5. 2 1 ) Othello reputation is more essential to him because he is well liked in Cyprus ultimately leading him to killing Desdemona. Overall, Othello’s ID grew stronger as Iago fabrications became more believable and forced upon him.
Othello’s strong conscience and internalized moral standards begin to take over Othello’s ego and ID which results into his downfall. His sense of morals are processed in the play when his voice of restraint becomes predominate over his desires and reputation. This is seen in the beginning of the play when Othello removes Cassio’s rank in cyprus. “… Thy honesty and love doth mince this matter, Making it light to Cassio. Cassio I love thee, but never more be office of mine” ( Shakespeare 2. 3. 26-28), this is demonstrating his super ego because there is a slight voice of restraint when he says ” i love thee”.
In particular this proves his superego because although Cassio’s status is important it is the friendship between Cassio and himself that makes him feel guilt. Eventually this leads to his superego becoming more existent when Iago begins to plot that Cassio and Desdemona are having an affair. Othello begins to believe it however, he demands proof showing his sense of right from wrong, “….. i think that thou art just and think thou art not, ill have some proof” (Shakespeare 3. 3 392-394 ). His superego is shown because he is demonstrating that he has a sense of morals by telling Iago he will not believe it until he has proof.
Although there might be slight truth on what Iago is saying he still believes his wife is faithful unless Iago provides him with the proof he needs because ultimately he does not want to believe that his wife would do such a thing. After killing his wife Desdemona, Othello realizes that he will never have her back again, he can’t regain his ego which ultimately leads to his suicide. Before committing suicide othello states, “…. of one that loved not wisely, but to well. Of one not easily jealous, but being wrought, perplexed in the extreme. Of one whose hand”. ( Shakespeare 5. 360-363) This eventually demonstrates his overactive superego because finally knowing the truth about Iago’s lies developed a heavy guilt leading to his death. His superego becomes predominant over the others which is eventually grown as a neurosis. Othello’s overactive superego is ultimately shown through his guilt of killing his wife since he now knows the truth of Iago’s evil schemes. In the final analysis of William Shakespeare’s Othello, Othello starts of as a rational and moral character but as the play progresses his ID and superego result in his own destruction.
Othello begins to be consumed by jealousy which ultimately leads to his decline within himself. In the beginning of the play Othello’s ego since is able to balance out his ID and superego. As the play continues on Othello’s ID becomes essential to him through Iago’s unethical lies, however at the end of the play it is his overactive superego and guilt that leads to his suicide. William Shakespeare is trying to state that those who have an ego and are able to withhold themselves will ultimately be okay, but if individual allows others to manipulate them it will lead to a downfall within one, this is proven in Othello.