Power and Control in Othello, Notes on a Scandal and The Collector. 12th Grade

The use and abuse of power relations has been a central feature of literary narrative from the beginning of culture. The Austrian psychologist Alfred Adler posited the drive for power as being one of the primal characteristics of the human conscious and unconscious. Othello is a tragedy by William Shakespeare and was first performed in 1604 while Notes on a Scandal is a 2003 romantic novel written by Zoë Heller. The Collector is a 1963 debut novel by John Fowles. In order to exercise control, power is first appropriated. It creates a paradigm of control where a variety of complex consequences arise, whether these are beneficial or self-destructive is questionable. However, such features demand attention as their interweaving nature enables the reader or audience to grasp the fundamental themes of the texts.

Power is attained by each of the characters by using various techniques. Iago’s preferred technique is through the manipulation of Othello. He subtly suggests alternative ideas and plants seeds of doubt. This can be seen when Iago uses Cassio’s exit to suggest he is guilty, consequently leading him to avoid Othello. ‘Ha! I like not that.’ The supercilious and harsh tone of ‘Ha!’ immediately captures Othello’s attention....

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