light vs darkness in othello

light vs darkness in othello

Light vs. Darkness in Othello I chose to do my Easter discussion on the style of “Light vs Darkness” in Othello. I pick this subject due to the fact that I feel that it is a crucial element of the drama due to the fact that so many themes and characters are linked to light and dark in regards to their characters and in the way they incorporate the elements into their speech. Typically in everyday life, light is usually referenced to people who are pure and innocent as it is seen as the “excellent” and usually darkness is portrayed as evil and harmful as it is viewed as the “bad” in people. In the play, Desdemona is the ey character that is surrounded by light as she is seen as the pure and innocent character while Iago is surrounded by darkness as he seen as the evil and malicious character. The concept of light vs darkness is not only obvious in the characters however is also apparent in the popular style of the play, Racism. From the beginning of the play Iago uses dark-insulting words to describe Othello and Desdemona’s relationship to Brabantio; “an old black ram is tupping your white ewe”. This quote represents the relationship Shakespeare utilized between light (white) and arkness (black) to link it in with the style of racism. Another crucial quote that signifies the so called angel-like qualities that include the attributes of light is in the final act of the play when Emilia finds Desdemona’s dead body; “O, the more angel she/And you the blacker devil”. This shows that Shakespeare wished to create the impressions that darkness is primarily associated to evilness and light is associated with angel-like qualities and innocence. The sign of the Candle in the final act symbolises the end of the world in between light and darkness.

I translate the candle as representing the last flame of both Othello and Desdemona’s life and relationship. Othello says “put out the light” not only to explain killing Desdemona but likewise symbolises the end of his commitment for her and her supposed loss of pureness. In the end, Othello chooses to let darkness conquer him and acts upon the strategy that Iago took into his head and ends both their lives. With light and dark continuously in dispute, Shakespeare uses the images to show a wide range of feelings and themes, from bitter to jealousy to uncompromising love, to the most damaging form of hate.

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