'Othello' is one of William Shakespeare's major works that revolves around tragedy and love. Various themes are brought out in this play. They are analyzed differently by various scholars in the literary world. The major theme is love. In this paper, we want to figure out whether Othello really loves Desdemona. To do so, we analyze what others have been said about it. We shall also determine whether Desdemona requites Othello's love and vice versa.  Critics have argued on this subject differently albeit at some point, some tend to agree with each other. In analyzing the theme of love, we pick Russell Brown's Studying Shakespeare and Alexander's Shakespeare's Comedy of Love. In these texts, the relationship between Othello and Desdemona are evenly brought out (Legatt 130).

Othello is a play that has its setting in Venice. The scene revolves around Othello, Iago, Bianca and Cassio. Desdemona is mentioned but she does not appear physically in this scene. Iago secretly despises Othello. This is because Roderigo was a rejected suitor to Desdemona, Othello’s wife. Desdemona and Othello elope and this angers many people, contrary to people’s expectations. Iago convinced Roderigo to follow Desdemona to Cyprus where he would implicate Michael Cassio in an affair with Desdemona. When Othello returns, Iago urges Roderigo to incite Cassio into a fight. Later that evening during the Othello’s wedding feast, Iago makes Cassio get drunk. This resulted in Othello’s dismissing Cassio from service. Iago frames Cassio as having an affair with his wife Desdemona. Othello feels betrayed by his wife and despite Desdemona and Cassio claim of innocence; he fails to believe in them and refers to Desdemona’s tears as crocodile tears. He is so furious that he plots to poison her for her betrayal. He claims he cannot confront her because she would talk him out of the act. Iago, pleased with himself, offers to be the one to kill Cassio. He assures Othello that Cassio would be dead by midnight that same night. Iago is such a sadist that he advises Othello to strangle Desdemona while in bed. Iago manipulates both Cassio and Othello to suit his purpose. He gives Othello false information and incites him to commit murder. To justify himself, he frames Cassio by asking him about his affair with Bianca while in the background Othello listens thinking they are talking about his wife Desdemona. When Bianca walks in, furious that Cassio had given him another woman’s handkerchief; Othello recognizes it as his wife’s. This, to him, acts as proof of the affair. Iago then tells Cassio to run after Bianca and console her. This is to give Othello space to return on stage.

Jealousy is the main theme in this scene. Iago is jealous of Othello’s accomplishments. This drives him to use all means to destroy him and make him a failure. He uses Othello’s love for his wife as a weapon to bring him down. It is normal for any man to be jealous of his wife sleeping with other men. Iago used this knowledge to manipulate Othello into eventually killing his wife. The scene demonstrates how jealousy can enslave people over powering all other forces including the strongest form of love, which is marriage. In addition to this, jealousy drives one to seek revenge in the disguise of justice.

Love is another theme in this scene. In the scene, Othello loves his wife Desdemona very much. He sees her as a part of him and an extension of himself. When he kills her, he kills a part of himself. He has an idealized vision of her being his object of romantic passion. Love is also evident in Othello’s speech where he equates his mother with the apparently betraying Desdemona. Othello is depicted as a romantic lover who has been on a quest for ideal love and beauty. He finds these qualities in Desdemona. His love for Desdemona drives in into a rage that he even contemplates strangling her to death. However, despite his rage, he still acknowledges that her beauty and love would change his mind if he confronted her.

Deceit is also common in the scene. In this scene, the main deceiver, Iago, manipulates almost every character in the play through his deceitfulness and lies to achieve his own delight. The play is a character - driven domestic calamity of envy and dishonesty. The appreciated Venetian general falls prey to the deceitfulness of Iago. Othello's apparently joyful association with his wife Desdemona fall to pieces due to the deceitful plans of Iago, who talks his commander into believing that Desdemona has been having an affair with Cassio, his lieutenant. Othello is a noble, candid and trusting person and Iago uses this to exploit him ruthlessly.

Symbolism is the most common style used in this scene. The handkerchief symbolically represents Othello’s love for Desdemona. He gave her the handkerchief as a gift and a token to symbolize his love. That same handkerchief was used as evidence against Desdemona as a symbol of her affair with Cassio. The scene is written in a combination of prose and poetry. This makes it more appealing to the audience and makes it sound rhythmic.

The stage directions used in the play are used to show how the actors in the scene are supposed to move and perform. For example, when Bianca and Cassio need to leave the stage, the stage directions are “exit”. This shows they are no longer in the room. Thus, creating room for other actors on stage. In addition, the stage directions help the audience to relate and understand the character. This makes it more enjoyable than if the audience was left without any clue of what the characters were doing.

In addition, stage directions reveal the tone of the dialogue. This brings life to play, and the audience is able to tell the mood of the play from the tone. In addition, the tonal variation in the play makes it pleasant to the audience. In conclusion, stage directions are used to ensure a smooth flow of the play. They ensure the characters perform as expected without having to explain themselves to the audience. This makes the audience understand the actors from the author’s perspective. Thus, giving the play flow and a smooth transition between scenes.

Russell believes that there is love between Othello and Desdemona. For instance, Russell picks out the way Othello greets Desdemona on arrival at Cyprus. Othello really cherishes the reunion and takes it as a sign of great affection by referring to her as his 'soul's joy with aloud cry'. The suggestion that Desdemona is his soul's joy is a symbol of care since for something or someone to do that there ought to be liking and reverence. The love for Desdemona is also evidenced by the fact that Othello is willing to fight for her. When Desdemona's father who is the king, questions Othello why he has taken his daughter, he takes his stand by defending her and their relationship. Therefore in this context, there is love between the two. Desdemona's acceptance to elope and live with the moor shows her affection to him (Russell 45).

Russell also argues that Othello seems a regretful man over the circumstances that lead to Desdemona's alleged unfaithfulness to him. Othello is surprised why heaven has turned to hell.  To him, this is incredible and ponders over the issue as a man who is crazed and turned into a stranger by the one person he loves (Russell 1- 45).

In the Elements of Drama, Styan looks at this situation differently by claiming that it is actually Desdemona who loves Othello and not the other way round. He picks out the manner in which Othello reacts on getting the news that Desdemona was not faithful to him. Styan corroborates his take by pointing out that Othello insinuates that Desdemona is a whore and by saying that his house has been taken as a brothel. This is further fueled by the way Othello questions Desdemona even to a point where he asks her who he is to her to which Desdemona replies that she is his wife. Othello pursues the issue further when he asks her to swear upon herself to which Desdemona swears to the heavens that she has been faithful. Styan argues that Othello does not take it easily when he says that Desdemona is as false as hell. The fact that there is no trust between Othello and his wife Desdemona indicates that their love is a one-sided affair (Styan 38).

Desdemona's love is further brought out when she defends the allegations with passion and goes to the extent of swearing by the heavens that they are false. She ingratiates herself in a prayer where she asks the heavens to bless them and that their love would increase as their days grow. Othello grudgingly answers amen to her prayer (Styan 33).

Surprisingly, both Russell and Styan come to an agreement that the themes presented in the play portray allegations and mistrust. Both Othello and Desdemona are victims of an ill society that is full of malice and jealousy as propagated by the likes of Iago and Emilia. Therefore, we are called not to judge this couple since as a man and wife, there must be mutual agreement between them.

First, conflict is a major theme in the play Othello by Shakespeare. The theme of conflict is seen due to the fact that some characters are hypocrites. For instance, Iago is a character who others describe as honest but his actions bring conflict in the play. Finally, he is seen as treacherous, deceitful as well as manipulative after they realize his hypocrisy. On the other hand, Desdemona is believed to be unfaithful especially by Othello. Other trait attributed to her is that she is impure in the real sense she is innocent and faithful.

Racism also causes conflict between characters. Othello's race, which some characters define as ambiguous, is seen to influence his personality according to other characters in the book. Othello works hard in order to make a good reputation. Racism leads to Othello's decision to get married to a white lady, Desdemona. Further, Brabantio allegations have it that Othello must have witchcraft magic to woo his daughter, all thanks to the theme of racism. Othello is also seen as weak person especially by his workmates, with Roderigo going ahead to challenge Othello's appointment of Cassio above his rank yet Othello had the qualities for such a post.

Jealousy precedes conflict. In the play, Iago is seen persuading Othello of his wife's affair with Cassio.  Cassio is alleged to be having a relationship with a commercial sex worker called Bianca. Iago goes further to persuade his wife, Emilia, to steal Desdemona's handkerchief after she has dropped. This handkerchief is said to be Othello's first gift to her. Emilia agrees to steal the handkerchief and Iago proceeds to plant it in the Cassio's lodgings.  This action is to serve as evidence of Desdemona's unfaithfulness to Othello. After the planting he proceeds to inform Othello of his fake findings. This false allegations lead to Othello's decision to mistreat and finally killing Desdemona.

The characters pride is seen as a cause of conflict in the play. Othello is proud of achievements he has made in life and more so his honorable appearance. Desdemona's allegations of infidelity hurt his pride to a great extent. During the night Othello confronts his wife, she claims to be innocent but her claims fall onto deaf ears. Othello smothers her in bed to death. Accidentally, Emilia arrives immediately and after learning of his action she calls for help. Later governor comes and finally Othello is arrested. (Shakespeare, 1988)

Culture and beliefs also cause conflict in the play. It was not cultural for a woman to marry a man of different race. Whites are seen to believe that Othello used magic power  it woo Desdemona who is of a high social class since she is daughter of a senator called Brabantio.. Luckily, Othello defends himself successfully in an assembly which included Duke of Venice, Gratiano, Lodovico and various senators. He explains that Desdemona fell in love with him after he told of his past life but not any witchcraft powers. Senate was satisfied but Brabantio was not.

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Lack of self-knowledge is seen a factor to causing conflict. Othello is a character that lacks self- knowledge and is easily influenced. This makes it easy for Iago to succeed in breaking his happy marriage eventually putting him into a miserable life. Iago inflames Othello's hidden nature into action by successfully planning in convincing him of his wife's action of unfaithfulness with Cassio. Othello could not have admitted he had those traits. Also, Emilie by lack of self-knowledge agrees to steal Desdemona's handkerchief which acted as an evidence to proof her affairs with Cassio.

Secondly, conflict is also a major theme in the play "The Zoo Story" by Edward Albee.  The play is about communication breakdown that ends up with confrontation between two men, Jerry and Peter. The two men are in New York's Central Park. These men belong to different classes of social life. The play is seen to have used theme of isolation, social disparity in the livelihood. One man is seen to use force so as to get the attention of the other who is busy reading a magazine.

Jerry is in his late thirties and appears dirty, unkempt and out of place trying to talk to Peter is in his early forties and belongs to a middle social class. Peter does not know much beyond his marriage life. Two men meet on a park bench on a sunny afternoon as each take a rest. Jerry has a conversation which is meaningful and has made him eager to share it with another person. This eagerness makes him interrogating and forcing peter to listen to his stories.

From the beginning, Jerry appears to an obnoxious and pushy. He begins his conversation with guesses about Peter's life so as to win his attention.  He first guesses that peter likes dogs more than cats and his wish is to have a son. He continues to say there is going to be no more children in his family. Peter ruefully agrees to the guesses because they are true. This reflects how outcast social class people hate lifestyles of those in the middle class valuing it as life without freedom.

Peter is locked to himself since he is conservative in nature hence he fails to show willingness to the conversation. He is also not intelligent enough to handle such a devious character as Jerry. From Jerry's point of view, conversation is perfect and he has accomplished what he intended.  Ironic humor and suspense comes into climax when Jerry brings Peter down to his salvage level. Peter gets angry and on tying to leave Jerry pulls out a knife and serves himself. Jerry finishes his story while bleeding on the bench. (Albee, 1958)

In conclusion, this story represents the confrontations between humans in the society. Middle class Americans are taken to be hostile to the outcasts of the society. This confrontation makes the outcasts use immoral ways in order to have their voices hard by those who have power. Middle class Americans are seen to be neglecting the needs of people who belong to the outcast social class. Comparing the two books conflicts in the society is brought by discrimination and social disparity issues.

In my view, the issue has a different side. From the text we find out that Desdemona loves Othello just because of the stories of Othello's prowess and conquering and those which she has experienced while with him. Furthermore, Othello is a man in authority and she takes prestige and relish being under his supreme halo. Similarly, Othello does not like her. This is shown by the way he reacts towards her and more so when he calls her a whore despite her efforts at proving her innocence and by swearing. Othello takes Desdemona's actions as hypocritically propagated. He even insinuates that she has kept her office opposite that of Saint Peter at the gates of hell. This shows that he is less compassionate of the poor Desdemona who is a victim of Iago and Emilia's ploys. Therefore, for me, Desdemona loves Othello.

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