"Othello Turning Point" Essays and Research Papers

2 5/10/2007 Commentary on Turning point in Othello The passage in Act 3, ..
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In his final speeches Othello turns away, first from the divine judge toward his adversary, Iago; then, when that adversary is revealed to be the Devil, Othello turns to his auditors, onstage and in the audience, to persuade them of his honorable intentions. This "turning" is a form of apostrophe, address- ing the enemy he has become:

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Turning Point in Othello Essay - 1327 Words | Cram

The desperate grief that Othello expresses just before his suicide may be called a 'yudas repentance." And indeed, in his despair Othello compares himself to that circumcised renegade and suicide, "the base Iudean" (if we follow the Folio text [TLN 3658]).l1° Judas's suicide, according to Byam's sermon, was prompted by the Devil's eagerness to see Judas damned: "Yea I know some that tell vs how for this very cause [fear of a last-minute repen- tance leading to salvation] the Deuill hasted to take Iudas out of this life, least knowing that there was a way to turne to Saluation, He might by pennance recouer his fall.""'

Othello’s mental agony approaches its climax as we approach the real turning point of the drama
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Chaucer might intend it to be merely cutely ironic that this confessor confesses -- as in "isn't that a turning of the tables, la!" On the other hand, it may well be that the Pardoner is practicing his rhetorical prowess on the other pilgrims, and on us, with the extreme skill of a cynical and perceptive man who's heard every villainy and mastered every deception....

Essay on Turning Point in Othello - 1329 Words
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it becomes clear that Othello is about to reach his turning point.

Othello derived much of its anxious suspense and lurid exoticism from the contemporary English perception of Turkish might and the English engage- ment with the perilous Mediterranean world. The Venetians' anxieties in the first act-the sense of urgency and dread aroused when "The Turk with a most mighty preparation makes for Cyprus" (1.3.219) -would have reminded Shakespeare's audience of the Ottoman Turks' waxing power. Rooted in a history of holy wars and crusades, of Islamic conquest and Chris- tian reconquista, the fear of the Islamic bogey was well established in the European consciousness. This long-standing fear and animosity reached one of its high points in 1453, when the Turks captured Constantinople. As Ottoman-controlled territory continued to expand during the next two centu- ries, Western Europeans grew increasingly anxious. Apart from the successful defense of Malta in 1565 and the defeat of the Turks by a Christian navy at Lepanto in 1570, the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries comprised a period of seemingly inexorable expansion for the Ottoman Empire (Figure 1).

it becomes clear that Othello is about to reach his turning point

When we do meet Othello in the second scene, we see the duke's messengers finding him even more swiftly than do Brabantio's urgently roused forces. The Turkish threat to Cyprus is "a business of some heat" (1.2.40), and the third scene continues to emphasize a sense of impending invasion as the duke calls for immediate mobilization: "Valiant Othello we must straight employ you / Against the general enemy Ottoman" (1.3.48-49). Othello and the Christian Venetians are described as moving instantly in a direct line to the defense of Cyprus, while the shifting Turks resist interpretation by moving in a "backward course" which then turns from Rhodes toward Cyprus: "now they do restem / Their backward course, bearing with frank appearance / Their purposes toward Cyprus" (11. 38-39). The syntax makes their move- ments unstable and contradictory, implying the retention of a morally ques- tionable backwardness even as they redirect their course "toward Cyprus."

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But the Turkish demon is not so easily exorcised from Shakespeare's play, and the destructive energy and cruelty of the Turk is repressed only tempo- rarily and soon returns, appearing within the Christian community. When the drunken affray instigated by Iago disturbs Othello's "balmy slumbers," he emerges from his nuptial bed to speak these lines: