A Sacrificial Death

"I must weep, / But they are cruel tears," says Othello near the end of his soliloquy in Act Five, Scene Two, right before killing Desdemona. Traditional Shakespearean murderers do not shed tears prior to killing their victim; in Shakespeare's Othello, however, the Moor is an ambivalent man justifying his actions through a cathartic release of emotions. Shakespeare uses techniques including a clever use of soliloquy, the use of repetition in diction, and tangible symbolism that together support his important underlying theme of Othello: preserving the ideal of Justice.

The clever use of a soliloquy in Othello's speech creates an intimacy between the reader and Othello; this contributes to understanding Othello's preservation of the ideal of Justice. Because the speaker is not addressing anyone but his soul, we as readers play the role of a mirror reflecting his image, but concurrently taking on our own perspective. In doing so, we feel much closer to him than if he were addressing another speaker and the reader was simply looking in from an outsider's perspective. Shakespeare reminds the readers that Othello is not happy with his decision, and so when he says, "Let me not name it to you, you chaste...

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