Nature Images in Shakespeare’s Othello
Natural Powers Nature is typically neglected as a concept without significance or worth in our lives. Nevertheless in the words of Henry Ward Beecher, “Nature would be scarcely worth a puff of the empty wind if it were not that all Nature is but a temple”. Beecher discusses with the saying how this temple of nature serves as a sanctuary which can parallel our lives. This interesting concept is greatly explored in William Shakespeare’s Othello, where the when jubilant Othello is manipulated by his “friend” Iago to the point where he murders his beloved partner Desdemona, and benches his devoted lieutenant Cassio.
Throughout the play, crucial recommendations to nature aid highlight Othello as a story of satisfaction transformed into difficulty. Shakespeare’s usage of nature images is most operational in establishing this initial enjoyment, and then ruining it to hardship. Before Shakespeare is able to devastate these primary characters, he initially positions them in high spirits with strong use of nature imagery. When Desdemona and Othello are at sea, Cassio tells Montano, the guv of Cyprus, about how blessed Othello is. He utilizes some strong nature imagery to explain how, “He’s had most beneficial and delighted speed. Tempests themselves, high seas, and wailing winds,/ The guttered rocks and congregated sands,/ Traitors ensteeped to enclog the righteous keel,/ As having sense of charm, do omit Their mortal natures, releasing securely by/The magnificent Desdemona” (2. 1. 74-80). Evidently, the nature images has the ability to successfully highlight the “divine Desdemona”. Shakespeare describes how “tempests … high seas, and howling winds” are subject to Desdemona to the point where they value her presence. This puts Desdemona in a place of enjoyment and admiration.
The lots of challenges that would affect the typical man are devoid to Desdemona. Shakespeare adds this nature imagery to establish the audience’s love towards her. He is able to extend this adulation to Desdemona and Othello’s relationship when they reunite after nearly being shipwrecked. When Othello sees her he exclaims,/ It offers me question excellent as my content/To see you here before me. O my soul’s pleasure!/ If after every tempest come such calms,/ Might the winds blow till they have waken ‘d death!/ And let the labouring bark climb hills of seas” (2. 199-203). Othello is pleased from seeing Desdemona again, and the imagery has the ability to parallel this. He uses the storm as an analogy to reveal that he would prefer that “the winds blow till they have actually waken ‘d death” if he can see his Desdemona. This underlines the strong bond that they share with a special natural metaphor. By developing this merry atmosphere Shakespeare has the ability to prepare for their demise. The characters’ joy is soon screwed up when numerous struggles come their way, all tagged with nature imagery.
Shakespeare hands Iago the role of changing this happiness when Iago states, “And, though he (Othello) in a fertile environment dwell,/ Pester him with flies:/ though that his joy be delight,/ Yet throw such changes of vexation on’t,/ As it may lose some colour” (1. 1. 77-80). Iago exposes that he will destroy Othello’s “fertile climate dwell”. Iago recommendations this fertile environment in order to assert how Othello’s situation is yielding excellent pleasures. He then reveals that he will, “Pester him with flies/ though that his pleasure be happiness”.
Shakespeare presents another reliable nature-based analogy to call attention to Iago’s plot to destroy him. The example is then advanced when Iago exposes his method into annihilating Othello and Desdemona. He discusses how, “Our bodies are our gardens, to the which our wills are gardeners: so that if we will plant nettles, or sow lettuce, set hyssop and weed up thyme, supply it with one gender of herbs, or distract it with numerous, either to have it sterile with idleness, or manured with industry, why, the power and corrigible authority of this lies in our wills” (1. 3. 362-368).
Shakespeare’s use of this amazing metaphor is vital in explaining Iago’s approach of control. He highlights how “our bodies are gardens”, offering the audience insight into his ingenious manipulation tactics. Iago prepares to “plant” these wills into his topics, eventually resulting in their death. This metaphor is able to interact the totality of what Iago is able to do throughout the play. The results become obvious of this planting when Othello starts to reprimand Desdemona using nature images by stating that, “summertime flies remain in the disarray,/ That accelerates even with blowing.
O thou weed,/ Who art so charming reasonable and odor’st so sweet/That the sense aches at thee, would thou hadst ne’er been born” (4. 2. 76-80)! He uses this example of the “summer season flies in the disarray” to portray her as faithful as a fly in meat. He continues by calling her a “weed” to show that is who she truly is, not a flower. He chastises her to the point where that as soon as loving bond in between them shatters entirely. Finally he reluctantly informs her, “I have pluck ‘d the rose, I can not give it important development again. It needs to needs wither: I’ll smell it on the tree.” (5. 2. 13-16). Othello is required to let his once precious “increased” “wither”.
This is the final sabotage that Shakespeare expresses, which eventually leads into the death of Desdemona and the suicide of Othello. Shakespeare uses nature images to change the initial joy into hardship. He highlights this throughout their struggle and ends it with their deaths. Nature imagery is functional in conveying these tremendous feelings of polar ends. The metaphors and examples are amazingly precise and effective in the manner ins which they are used. Nature is able to come to life, and communicate that which is otherwise inexpressible. This ability lies only with nature, an operational component that nothing else can produce.