A Contrast of Shakespeare’s Othello and The Apostle Paul’s 1 Corinthians 13
Love can be a powerful overwhelming emotion that can lead to ones bliss or ones tragedy. Shakespeare’s Othello and Paul’s 1 Corinthians 13 main idea is centered on love. Even though both texts share a similar main idea they contrast on the view of love. Paul’s biblical passage is more of a guide line for Christians than a romantic passage. Othello is of a romantic tale that ends in tragedy because of jealousy and betrayal.
The biblical love Paul describes is different from the love in the play Othello. In the biblical passage of 1 Corinthians 13, Paul describes various things of what love is and not. Paul points out that love …does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil…” (Paul 532). These things that Paul describes are not love is seen in Othello. Othello becomes rude and evil to his wife when he is persuaded to think she is cheating. One of the themes that are seen in Othello and Othello’s tragic flaw is jealousy. Othello experiences jealousy when Iago persuades him that Desdemona is cheating on him. Iago plants the seed of jealousy in Othello’s head, “Cassio, my lord? No, sure, I cannot think it, That he would steal away so guilty like, Seeing you coming ” (Shakespeare 604). This and many other persuasions provoked Othello to become envious and evil towards his wife. The Apostle Paul teaches Christians that, “love does not envy” (Paul 532). True love does not envy but seeks truth and understanding. The love that Othello has for his wife deteriorates from the false accusations Iago tells Othello. Othello lets jealousy turn into rage and lets rage become the driving force in his murderous action. Othello murders his wife and claims he did it in honor, “An honorable murderer, if you will, For naught I did in hate, but all in honor” (Shakespeare 658). Paul describes in his biblical passage that, “Love never fails” (Paul 532). In Othello one...
Cited: Paul. “1 Corinthians 13.” Literature for Life. Ed. X.J. Kennedy, Dana Gioia, and Nina Revoyr, New York Pearson, 2013. 531-32. Print
Shakespeare. “Othello.” Literature for Life. Ed. X.J. Kennedy, Dana Gioia, and Nina Revoyr, New York Pearson, 2013. 560-660. Print
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