Othello and Faustus Blame Term Paper Essay
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Trust is an essential part of a peaceful society. The way people act decides whether they are trustworthy or not. One who manipulates trust to deceive people is to blame for the disturbance. Those who places trust in the wrong person are also to blame. Placing trust in an unworthy person is the initial fault as it opens the protagonist to deception. Thus they base their actions according to the false information which condemns them. The person who is to blame is viewed as a villain rather than a hero.
The object of the misplaced trust is decides to what extent they are to blame.
Othello and Faustus place their trust in unworthy people. Othello is a trusting man, causing him to trust a deceiver who wishes him harm. Iago explains his plan for Othello in this way, “After some time, abuse Othello’s ears/ that he is too familiar with his wife./ To be suspected—framed to make women false.
/ The Moor is of free and open nature/ that thinks men honest that but seem to be so;/ and will as tenderly be led by th’nose/ as asses are./” (A1 S3 L390-393). Iago plots to manipulate Othello when he states he will abuse Othello’s ears. He states that he will convince Othello that Cassio is having an affair with his wife and describes that he picked Cassio because he seems like the type of man to commit this offence.
This quote also shows the excessive trusting nature of Othello. Iago believes that it would be simple to deceive Othello because Othello is honest to the point where he believes no one is dishonest. Iago will be able to lead Othello into believing Cassio is having an affair with Desdemona. Iago’s plan would cause the downfall of Cassio and Othello which is perfect for Iago’s motives. Othello’s trusting personality causes him to misplace his trust in a deceiver, which is the beginning of his downfall. Othello’s flaw of trusting is an excess of a good trait, placing more blame onto Iago.
Faustus places his trust in himself because he is prideful. He was knowledgeable in every acceptable branch of knowledge. Faustus is presented in the prologue in this way: “That shortly he was graced with doctor’s name,/ excelling all, and sweetly can dispute/ in th’heavenly matters of theology;/ Till swoll’n with cunning, of a self-conceit,/ his waxen wings did mount above his reach/ and melting, heavens conspired his overthrow” (prologue L16-21). The quote shows that Faustus was praised with the title of doctor after surpassing everyone in the subject of divinity, which is the most important branch of knowledge at the time.
The quote continues to describe Faustus’ pride to be swollen, which means it has grown larger than it should be. Pride is the deadliest of the seven deadly sins and Icarus, who was prideful, reached beyond what he was capable of. Icarus flew too close to the sun even though he was warned by his father. This resulted in the melting of his waxed wings and ultimately killing him. Icarus bears the blame completely for his downfall. This quote shows that Faustus shares the same pride as Icarus.
If Faustus were to fall because he were to reach beyond his capabilities with the knowledge that he should not, Faustus would bear all the blame and be viewed as a villain. Faustus understands theology better than everyone, but he chooses to be prideful. His excellence causes him to be prideful and believe he is better than what he truly is. Pride is viewed as a negative trait and will cause the reader to lean towards viewing Faustus as a villain rather than a hero.
The misplaced trust cause Othello and Faustus accept false knowledge. Othello vows to kill Desdemona because he trusts Iago. Othello expresses his plans as, “Even so my bloody thoughts, with violent pace,/ shall nev’r look back, nev’r ebb to humble love,/ till that a capable and wide revenge/ swallow them up. [He kneels.] Now, by yond marble heaven,/ in the due reverence of a sacred vow/ I here engage my words./. ..Damn her! Come, go with me apart. I will withdraw/ to furnish me some swift means of death for the fair devil./” (A3 S3 L454-458 & 473-475). Being a trustworthy man, Othello would never break his promise.
He begins to say that he has thoughts of murder for his revenge. He continues to say that he refuses to think otherwise. He chooses to have an unwavering mind of having revenge. He makes a vow with Iago and he vows to kill Desdemona as soon as possible. His promise to kill Desdemona is based on the false information Iago has given him. Othello is mentally prepared to commit a fault that will condemn his future because he trusts Iago. Othello is partially to blame for this mistake because he vows to take revenge based on circumstantial evidence. He is stubborn to set his mind to one path.
Faustus accepts false information because he believes that he knows everything about divinity. In his demonstration of the types of knowledge, his ignorance causes him to overlook essential details. “Jerome’s Bible, Faustus view it well. Ha! The reward of sin is death? …If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and there is no truth in us. Why, then belike, we must sin, and so consequently die. Ay, we must die an everlasting death… What will be shall be! Divinity, adieu!” (A1 S1 L36-43) Faustus starts his speech on divinity with pride. He states that he has viewed the bible without overlooking anything.
As he reads a passage from the bible, he shows that he does not view it well. He reads that those who sin are damned and men must sin. Therefore, he decides that all men are damned. He overlooks repentance and shows how his pride is fatal. Repentance is the key to divinity because it is the only way to save one’s soul. Faustus overlooks divinity as another branch of knowledge he has mastered.
His knowledge causes him to be prideful and place his trust in himself. He neglects the concept of repentance and dismisses divinity. By dismissing divinity, he would be unable to review the whole passage to understand if he had missed anything. His pride causes him to believe that there is no salvation and pursues a path that will condemn him. Faustus is completely to blame because he has an excess of pride, which is a bad trait. His trait led him to accept false knowledge so he bears all of the blame.
The actions that condemn Othello and Faustus are based on false information. Othello commits murder because he believes Desdemona was false to him. Othello is lead by false information that was given to him from Iago. Othello announces, “She’s like a liar gone to burning hell! ‘She’s like a liar gone to burning hell!/ ‘Twas I that killed her/… ‘Tis pitiful; but yet Iago knows/ that she with Cassio hath the act of shame/ a thousand times committed. Cassio confessed it;/ And she did gratify his amorous works/ with that recognizance and pledge of love,/ which I first gave her. I saw it in his hand./ It was a handkerchief, an antique token/ my father gave my mother” (A5 S2 L128-129 & 207-214).
Othello admits he killed Desdemona because he is honourable and refuses to avoid punishment by with killing Desdemona by lying. He says that he killed Desdemona, but without shame because he believes he has done so for a good cause. He states his reasons, which were all based on information that Iago has given him. Othello justifies his actions with events where Iago was deceiving him. Iago and Cassio were talking about Bianca, but Iago tells Othello it was about Desdemona.
Iago also says that he has seen Cassio wipe his beard with Desdemona’s handkerchief. Othello’s evidence is all based on Iago’s deception and false evidence which is later proved wrong by Emilia. Othello wrongfully murders Desdemona and is condemned. Othello lost his loyal wife, his status and his respect that was gained through many years of service. Othello bears most of blame because he accepts Iago’s uncertain information and stubbornly devotes himself to revenge. He focuses on Iago’s information and is unable to see through Iago’s obvious lies. Iago still bears little, but some of the blame for giving the false information.
Having rejected divinity, Faustus chooses necromancy, which condemns him. He pride causes him write the terms for the devil. Faustus states the terms as, “I, John Faustus of Wittenberg, Doctor, by these/ presents, do give both body and soul to Lucifer,/ prince of east, and his minister Mephostophilis/, and furthermore grant unto them that,/ four and twenty years being expired and these/ articles above written being inviolate, full/ power to fetch or carry the said John Faustus,/ body and soul,, flesh, blood, or goods, into their/ habitation wheresoever./ By me John Faustus/” (A2 S1 L108-117). Faustus dictates the terms of the contract.
He sells his soul to Lucifer for twenty four years of leisure and the obedience of Mephistophilis. His pride causes him to not realize his eternal soul is worth much more than twenty four years of pleasure. In the end, he states that the terms were by him, repeating that it was him who created the terms. He remains prideful and sells his soul to Lucifer to pursue his path of necromancy. Faustus made this decision because he believed in himself and based his action on the false knowledge. His overlooking of divinity causes him to damn himself. He is completely to blame for his actions because the devil did not influence Faustus. Faustus knew exactly what he was doing because he creates a contract that will condemn him and dictates its terms to Mephistophilis.
The blame for the downfall depends on the characters final actions. Othello’s honour wills him to right the wrong. Othello shows his honourable personality by saying, “I have done the state some service, and they know’t./ No more of that. I pray you, in your letters,/ when you shall these unlucky deeds relate,/ speak of me as I am. Nothing extenuated, nor set down aught in malice. Then you must speak/ of one that loved not wisely, but too well;/ Of one not easily jealous, but, being wrought ,/ perplexed in the extreme; of one whose hand,/ like the base Judean, threw a pearl away/ richer than all his tribe… I kissed thee ere I killed thee. No way but this, killing myself, to die upon a kiss (A5 S2 L334-344 & 354-355).
Othello tries to make a last attempt to justify his actions and regain his honour. He talks about his past deeds and about how honourable he was. He also asks that his unfortunate deeds should not be excluded in his report. He tells Lodovic to report on his love, and that he was not wise in his love, but he was madly in love with Desdemona. Othello admits that he was jealous and was not thinking logically when he doubted Desdemona’s loyalty. Othello was perplexed in the extreme, causing him to charge Desdemona with groundless evidence. Othello describes himself like Judean. Judean refers to Judas, who was one of the twelve disciples of Jesus.
Judas betrays Jesus, condemning himself to hell. Othello says he has killed Desdemona which has condemned him. He continues to be loyal to Venice and now that he has become an enemy of the state, he decides to kill himself. His last line was dedicated to Desdemona, saying that there is nothing he can do to repent for killing her, but he is willing to sacrifice himself to right the wrong.
Othello understands his mistakes and tries to justify his actions. Seeing that he has taken the life of an innocent person, he decides that it is only fair he takes his own. This shows that Othello bears a little bit of the blame because he shows he truly had no intent of killing Desdemona and admits he is wrong. Iago bears most of the blame because he deceives Othello, an innocent and honest person. Hence, Iago is viewed as the villain whereas Othello is viewed as a hero.
Faustus’ destruction is brought upon himself due to his rejection of repentance. Faustus demonstrates his pride even when he knows he is wrong by saying, “But Faustus’ offense can ne’er be pardoned./ The serpent that tempted Eve may be saved, but/ not Faustus! (A5 S2 L42-44). Faustus continues to be prideful and states that his offense can not be excused. This is related to the point when Faustus rejects divinity. Divinity shows that he can repent, but he overlooks it again. He believes in the false information and his pride causes him to believe that his actions were more significant than the serpent’s actions, which damned all of humanity.
Faustus pride believes he is more superior to the very devil he had sold his soul to. Faustus understands that he is wrong, but refuses to acknowledge it. Faustus bears all of the blame for his downfall because he has allowed himself to be led by pride. Faustus is offered another chance to repent and save himself from damnation, but his pride convinces him to discard this opportunity. Faustus is viewed as a villain for not repenting to God and refusing to save himself after he is condemned.
Othello trusted Iago, which led him to believe false information. The false information caused Othello to condemn himself, but Othello recognizes his mistakes and tries to right the wrong. Faustus is prideful and trusts himself, causing him to make an error in his studies. The error leads to Faustus’ condemnation, but Faustus is capable of saving himself many times by repenting unlike Othello.
Othello did not have a second chance where as Faustus had many chances. Faustus discards all of his opportunities and refuses to accept the fact that he is wrong. Othello bears less of the trust because he was unable to save himself after he realized he has been condemned, but tries to right the wrong. Faustus bears all of the blame because he is condemned, and is capable of saving himself, but chooses not to. Thus, Othello is viewed as a hero while Faustus is viewed as a villain.