Othello – CRITICS

A.C Bradley (Othello’s nature: trust) Othello’s nature is all of one piece. His trust where he trusts is absolute. Hesitation is almost impossible to him. He is extremely self-reliant and decides and acts instantaneously. If stirred to indignation (…) he answers in one lightning stroke.
A.C Bradley (Othello’s nature: love) Love, if he loves, must be to him the heaven where either he must live or bear no life. It is such a passion as jealousy that seizes him. It will swell into a well-nigh uncontrollable flood.
A.C Bradley (love/imagination) There is no love, not that of Romeo’s youth, more steeped in imagination than Othello’s
A.C Bradley (romantic figure) Othello is, in one sense of the world, by far the most romantic figure among Shakespeare’s heroes.
A.C Bradley (modesty) A great man naturally modest but fully conscious of his worth.
A.C Bradley (confidence in Iago) Othello’s confidence was misplaced, and we happen to know it; but it was no sign of stupidity in Othello. For his opinion of Iago was the opinion of practically everyone who knew him: and that opinion was that Iago was before all things “honest”.
A.C Bradley (jealousy) Even then, and indeed to the very end, he is quite unlike the essentially jealous man, quite unlike Leontes. No doubt the thought of another man possessing the woman he loves is intolerable to him; no doubt the sense of insult and revenge are at times most violent; and these are the feelings of jealousy proper. But these are not the chief or the deepest source of Othello’s suffering. It is the wreck of his faith and love.
F.R Leavis A habit of self-approving self-dramatisation is an essential element in Othello’s make-up.
Sean McEvoy Othello’s tragedy is that he lives according to a set of stories which he interprets the world – an ideology – but it is a world that has been superseded. He cannot see that this is so, and the contradictions within his ideology destroy him. He is living the life of a chivalric warrior in a world run by money and self-interest.
Kenneth Burke On Othello’s stake in Desdemona: “ownership in the profoundest sense of ownership, the property of human affections, as fetishistically localized in he object of possession, while the possessor himself is possessed in engrossment”.