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Failure of Kurtz in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness

Heart of Darkness Essay: The Failure of Kurtz

In the novel Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, many different points of views of different topics were taken. For me I was mostly interested in knowing and finding out why or how come did Kurtz fail or thought he failed, and what external forces and conflicts caused him to consider his life a failure. Now I’m in a small excavation to unfold the answer or answers that would allow me and others to understand Kurtz more.

One reason that caught my attention was the part about why Kurtz came to Africa, which as I understood that he wanted to come and leave as someone big, someone that had been able to accomplish something big, and than he would be able to have all the right to married his love one. But when he knew that was the end of his life and he had nothing else to give, he might have felt like all that he had try working for, came down to nothing, and he was not even able to go back and see his lady and show her all the hard work that he had done just for her.

Another reason that I think that might have been another reason why Kurtz might have consider his life a failure is that he might have learned that all his work that he had done has been done for nothing, all the he had accomplish in Africa was going to be nothing. What made me think of this was when Marlow said this “….nothing underfoot, with nothing around, without spectators, without clamour, without glory, without the great desire of victory, without the great fear of defeat ….”(p. 154). The entire quote made you try to feel how would it be to die like Kurtz did, that is how I interpreted, how much you have put in your life, but all of that won’t matter to anyone anymore, that he is just like everyone else, and he has not been able to become someone special.

My last explanation, for why Kurtz might have consider his life a failure would be he might not have actually consider it that maybe he just sees that life is just the way it is, that you are born, you live and then you die, “I am lying here in the dark waiting for death”(p.

Shakespeare’s Othello – The Downfall of Othello and Cassio

The Downfall of Othello and Cassio

In Shakespeare’s Othello, the characters of Othello and Cassio greatly contribute to their own downfalls. Iago sets up a treacherous trap and they fall into it. Both are innocent characters, guilty only of being too trusting of Iago. Othello and Cassio elicit sympathy from the readers. However, our sympathy for them wanes at times, because they are so gullible. Yet, it is always restored.

Iago longs to hurt Othello. He is Othello’s footsoldier, an ancient, his right-hand man, and long-time friend. Iago was enraged when Othello did not promote him to lieutenant, choosing instead the handsome, young, affluent, Cassio. Iago felt that he was more entitled to the position than Cassio. Cassio was a brillant strategist, but had very little experience on the battlefield. Iago, on the other hand, had an abundance of battle experience and felt that he was passed over only for appearances’ sake. This idea may very well be true. Othello needed someone who would make him look better in the eyes of important state officials and people of high standing in the community. The Moor was a black man, a fact that is often referred to in the play and which also causes Othello much insecurity. He saw his race as a drawback and something that could prevent him from gaining further success. So Michael Cassio was the perfect “face” to bring along to state functions; the perfect white face. He was a very presentable, educated, good-looking man from a middle-class background. To get back at the Moor, Iago decides to poison his mind against his wife and against Michael Cassio, by conjuring up images of an illicit sexual affair between the two.

In Sha…

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… by no means the tragic hero, he is definitely not Othello’s villain.

Iago chooses Cassio as his prey because he is the one that benefitted from Othello’s overlooking of Iago. Who better to bring down? Cassio gained the position that Iago wanted, felt entitled to. Cassio was also everything that Iago was not. Cassio came from a financially comfortable background, Iago did not. Cassipo received a good education, Iago did not. Cassio’s promotion to the lieutenancy was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

The flaws of Othello and Cassio, naivete and gullibility, led to their downfalls. Both characters were innocent of villiany, but guilty of choosing to put their trust in the wrong person. Had they attempted to communicate with the people they should have, Othello with Desdemona, and Cassio with Othello, Othello would not have been a Shakespearean tragedy.

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