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Othello and Cymbeline

Othello and Cymbeline

Othello was a play by Shakespeare. He wrote it about a “mercenary” who thinks that his wife is not faithful. Othello is the main character in Othello, who likes his wife but then, by the end of the play, most decidedly does not like her. In fact, he kills her when she’s sleeping, but afterwards when she wakes up, she dies. Cymbeline is not about Othello, but it does have some of what I like in Othello in it. Here’s what it has that’s the same: Posthumus is like Othello. He thinks his wife is Innogen who has been cheating on him but she didn’t. He tries to kill her, but he can not because Innogen is disguised as a man, so she escapes from being killed. I liked the way how in Cymbeline Innogen doesn’t die, which is the same as not liking when Desdemona dies in Othello. She almost dies but in the end it’s revealed that she doesn’t.
Othello, the main character in Othello, thinks his wife is unfaithful becuse Iago, his friend, tells Othello that Desdemona, Othello’s wife, has not been faithful. This is where everything goes crazy. He believes Iago, who is not telling the truth, but he believes him anyway. He kills Desdemona after going crazy and Iago kills Cassio, the character Desdemona is not unfaithful with but Othello thinks she is. In the end, they don’t live except for Cassio. Othello kills himself, representing the way he ends his own life. As Othello says in the end, ” . . . I die . . .” (5.2.64).
Cymbeline is a story close to Othello but different because everyone lives. Posthumus lives, Innogen lives and yes, even Cymbelinel, lives. The Queen does not live, but the reason she does not live is that she is evil, like her son CLoten who doesn’t live either. He is beheaded Innogen finds him. What I think about everyone living except for the bad characters is that Shakespeare seems and tends to kill off the evil characters while he keeps the good ones alive. This is different from Othello because Othello dise and Desdemona dies too; she is not evel even though Iago says she is. I think Shakespeare is more right in Cymbeline where only the bad characters die because in that play they get what’s coming to them.

The Freudian Model in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness

The Freudian Model in Heart of Darkness

In my essay I intend to prove Joseph Conrad’s use of the Freudian model of the human mind, as portrayed in his characterization of Marlowe, Kurtz, and the “wilderness”. Further, using that model I will explicate Conrad’s ambiguous tone in Heart of Darkness.

First, I must define each figure in Conrad’s novel with its appropriate Freudian psyche. These psyche are defined in an essay by Ross C. Murfin’s essay, “Psychoanalytic Criticism in The Awakening”:

“the human mind is essentially dual in nature. He called the predominately passional, irrational, unknown, and unconscious part of the psyche the id, or “it”. The ego, or “I”, was his term for the predominantly rational, logical, orderly, conscious part. Another aspect of the psyche, which he called the superego, is really a projection of the ego. The superego almost seems to be outside of the self, making moral judgements, telling us to make sacrifices for good causes even though self-sacrifice may not be quite logical or rational.”(Murfin 219)

We see the characteristics of Freud’s “id” in the descriptions of Kurtz’s savage actions as well as Marlowe’s analysis as to why he acted this way:

“I want you to clearly understand that there was nothing exactly profitable in these heads being there. They only showed that Mr. Kurtz lacked restraint in the gratification of his various lusts, that there was something wanting in him-some small matter which when the pressing need arose, could not be found under his magnificent eloquence. Whether he knew of this deficiency himself I can’t say. I think the knowledge came to him at last-only at the very last. But the wilderness had found him out early, and had taken on him a terr…

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…y the memory of gratified and monstrous passions.” (Conrad 132)

It is the connection between Kurtz, Marlowe and their inability to figure out the “wilderness” that we are left with Kurtz’s chilling last words: “The horror. The horror.” This quote is significant because of it ambiguity. Conrad keeps the readers curiosity by having us searching for “meaning” in what the heart of darkness is. The feeling of eerie confusion we get from Kurtz and Marlowe’s fear and bewilderment of the wilderness is symbolic of the human mind’s inability to realize the unconscious. Conrad uses the “wilderness” as Marlowe’s symbol of the unconscious.

Works Cited

Murfin, Ross C.. “Feminist Criticism and The Awakening.” in Chopin, Kate. The Awakening. Boston: Bedford Books, 1993.

Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness and The Secret Sharer. New York: Signet Classic, 1997.

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