The Promised End of Othello
"Is this the promised end?" Analyse the final scene of Othello.
"Iago, you have done well that men must lay their murders on your neck" [5:2 line 166, p.157]. This ironic tone is akin to that of "Is this the promised end?" Can it be anything but ironic when the words are spoken in front of a tragic scene of corpses, as is the case at the end of both Othello and King Lear? His villainy is made the more by the fact that her fake congratulations are probably the mirror of his own self-congratulation for the tragedy he has caused. This is because Iago has reached his self-promised end. He has debased all and both directly and indirectly caused the murders of Roderigo, Desdemona, Emilia and Othello. Structurally this end is the natural climax to the web of deceit that has been weaved by Iago. The way in which partial knowledge has been skilfully apportioned to each character, they are never aware of the 'truth' as contrived by Iago. He is the only character who has a villainous omniscience. The final scene is the real "ocular proof" [3:3 line 337, p.106] of Iago's "motiveless malignity" and the contrasting purity of the other characters.
Iago's manipulations have...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 739 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 4397 literature essays, 1440 sample college application essays, 178 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in