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Shakespeare’s Othello – Part VI

The role of good literature is to teach life lessons without having to live those lessons. The story of Othello is one of those lessons. In the final Act, the deadly deeds are done. Othello, now convinced that he is god-like takes his wife’s life to prevent her from sinning again. His delusion has reached its logical summit. Once the fact of her innocence is revealed to him, he understands he has committed murder, and can no longer look upon her beautiful corpse. He now fears Judgment Day, not because of what he has done, but because he fears her look of pure innocence upon him. This will be his torment, and he cannot endure it. He calls for demons to take him away. He acknowledges his crime. He deserves punishment. He learns the lesson too late. She is gone. He is dammed. In his final moments, he regains composure, becomes a soldier again. He is a divided man. Once the defender of justice, he became the offender of justice. He has no home in Cyprus, no home in Venice, no home in his native land. He takes a dagger, stabs himself, and dies with a kiss on Desdemona.

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