Othello Themes Lots of times people get love and lust confused. In Shakespeares Othello, the characters in this book are very confused about the difference and it results in perplexity, confusion, commotion and death. This is shown in Shakespeares use of symbolism, characterization and irony. The person who best illustrates this theme is Roderigo. He tells Iago, “That thou, Iago, who hast had my purse,” to get Desdemona for himself.
(I,I,2) He pays Iago to get Desdemona, not knowing that he really is not in love with her. This portrays lust on Roderigos part. Othello, on the other hand, is in love with Desdemona and doesnt have sex with her until they are married, and because of his respect for her. He had”rather be a toad and live upon the vapor of a dungeon than keep a corner in the thing I love for others uses.”(III,iii, 287) Othello evidently portrays love in this play. Later, in the play, Othello starts to hate Desdemona and wont give credence to a word she says. When Iagos scheme to split up Desdemona and Othello begins to work, Othellos love for her gradually diminishes. Desdemonas “napkin is too little”, for Othello.(III,iii,303) This quote symbolizes Desdemonas love for Othello. As the play goes on, Othello starts calling Desdemona a strumpet, or whore and “each drop she falls would prove a crocodile.”(III,I,248) In other words, Desdemona is like a crocodile which sheds hypocritical tears.
The irony used by Shakespeare also explains the love and lust theme of this play. Roderigo and Iago are the main characters that depict irony for love and lust. They both are convinced that they are in love with Desdemona. However, all they really want is the sexual fragment of the relationship. Iago pays Roderigo to get Desdemona for him, so obviously he thinks he cant get her himself or doesnt want a real relationship with her.
The melancholy thing about this play is that Desdemona has no concept about what is going on. She has no evidence that her love life is being torn apart right before her eyes. In conclusion, with the use of characterization, symbolism and irony, Shakespeare proves that oftentimes people get confused about their feelings. Today, I think people are more confused about what real love is because if they werent, there would not be as many abuses, divorces or affairs. The amount of divorces has tripled since the1980s. People also get married because of pregnancy which often results in spousal abuse and child abuse because the father will get involved in something he doesnt want to do, which makes him angry and he takes it out on the wife.
So as I concluded, people repeatedly get love and lust confused and Shakespeare does an astonishing job of defining it.