Tuesday, 27 March 2012

"Pride is the mask of one's own faults." Jewish proverb.

The Lion. representing Pride and Power.

Pride - A high or inordinate opinion of one's own dignity, importance or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing.

One of the most relevant themes of this play besides jealousy is pride which also relates to reputation. This play has an abundance of characters that progress alongside the theme pride and reputation. This includes Othello, Brabantio, Cassio and last but not least Iago. All of these characters depict that their reputation is as important as their pride through the way they react towards the situations that arise to them. 

Othello- Demonstrates pride through his achievements (himself, wife, leader of army, his army fellows etc.) He is also proud of his honorable appearance that he represents. Othello portrays himself as a tested, honorable warrior, and indeed is such. He wants to appear powerful, but once Iago lies to him about Desdemona, all his pride disappears.  Desdemona's death is caused by Othello's pride because of his rush to judgement.

"That handkerchief which I so loved and gave thee, thou gav’st to Cassio." Act V, Scene II, 54

Barbantio- A proud father, who worries too much that his daughter’s elopement will mark him as a careless father despite his rank as a senator. Also he is very pleased of his well-raised and obedient daughter Desdemona, when she takes Othello's hand in marriage he feels very disappointed at first, but in the end he accepts the fact that she found something that makes her happy.

"Ay, to me. She is abused, stol'n from me, and corrupted by spells and medicines bought of mountebanks For nature so prepost'rously to err, Being not deficient, blind, or lame of sense,
Sans witchcraft could not." Act I, Scene III, 65

Cassio-  Cassio is worried about his reputation after getting drunk and fighting with Roderigo, and he is very upset and worried that Othello would take his place.

"Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself and what remains is bestial. My reputation, Iago my reputation!" Act II, Scene III, 245

Iago- Feels that he deserves the promotion over Cassio, since he didn't get the position of lieutenant his pride gets wounded. He thinks he's more capable than him for that position because he thinks he has more experience in the battlefield than Cassio does, because he is a young soldier and Iago does not like the idea that someone like him took his place.

Desdemona- Her pride lies in her love for Othello, no matter what her dad says, she stands by his side, she feels very proud to have a successful and brave husband.

"How to respect you. You are the lord of duty.
I am hitherto your daughter. But here’s my husband.
And so much duty as my mother showed
To you, preferring you before her father,
So much I challenge that I may profess
Due to the Moor my lord." -Act I Scene III, 185

In conclusion, pride is a very important theme of this play. The characters that show an indication of pride are Othello, Brabantio, Cassio and Iago. Every one of the characters potrays that their reputation is as important as their pride through the different scenarios that arise to them.