Although Italy had become the center of intellectual, artistic and cultural development, Machiavelli did not feel these qualities would help in securing Italy's political future. His opinion was that Italy required a leader who could have complete control over Italy's citizens and institutions. One way of maintaining control of was to institute a secular form of government. This would allow the prince to govern without being morally bound. Machiavelli's view of human nature was not in accord to that of humanists who felt that an individual could greatly contribute to the well being of the society. Machiavelli, however felt that people generally tended to work for their own best interests and gave little obligation to the well being of the state. Although Machiavelli doubted that this form of government could ever be established it did appear several years after he wrote The Prince. Machiavelli has become to be regarded as "the founder of modern day, secular politics."19
Othello: the General
The character of the Moor in William Shakespeare’s tragic drama Othello is noble to the point of heroism, but unfortunately also gullible and susceptible to the sinister, destructive genius of his ancient Iago.
The most radical change during the course of the drama is undergone by the protagonist, the Moor. Robert Di Yanni in “Character Revealed Through Dialogue” states that the deteriorated transformation which Othello undergoes is noticeable in his speech:
Othello’s language, like Iago’s, reveals his character and his decline from a courageous and confident leader to a jealous lover distracted to madness by Iago’s insinuations about his wife’s infidelity. The elegance and control, even the exaltation of his early speeches, give way to the crude degradation of his later remarks. (123)
David Bevington in William Shakespeare: Four Tragedies describes many fine virtues which reside within the general:
Othello’s blackness, like that of the natives dwelling in heathen lands, could betoken to Elizabethan audiences an innocent proneness to accept Christianity, and Othello is one who has already embraced the Christian faith. His first appearance onstage, when he confronts a party of torch-bearing men coming to arrest him and bids his followers sheathe their swords, is sufficiently reminiscent of Christ’s arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane to convey a fleeting comparison between Othello and the Christian God whose charity and forbearance he seeks to emulate. Othello’s blackness may be used in part as an emblem of fallen man, but so are we all fallen. His age similarly strengthens our impression of his wisdom, restraint, leadership. (220)
Is it his “gullibility” which leads to his downfal...
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...ht he had no weapon; / For he was great of heart.”
Works Cited and Sources Consulted
Bevington, David, ed. William Shakespeare: Four Tragedies. New York: Bantam Books, 1980.
Bloomfield, Morton W. and Robert C. Elliott, ed. Great Plays: Sophocles to Brecht. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1965.
Coles, Blanche. Shakespeare’s Four Giants. Rindge, New Hampshire: Richard Smith Publisher, 1957.
Di Yanni, Robert. “Character Revealed Through Dialogue.” Readings on The Tragedies. Ed. Clarice Swisher. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1996. Reprint from Literature. N. p.: Random House, 1986.
Jorgensen, Paul A. William Shakespeare: The Tragedies. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1985.
Shakespeare, William. Othello. In The Electric Shakespeare. Princeton University. 1996. http:///~multilit/studyabroad/othello/othello_ No line nos. Read Full Essay Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper