Subjectivity Crisis and Othello’s Downfall
Othello has been known as a tragedy of love and jealousy. However, shadowed by racism and misogyny popular in contemporary Europe and England, it is also a play of otherness. As a Moor in Venice, Othello, though he has built up his identity in Venetian symbolic order, he can hardly maintain it because of his otherness or Moorishness. Therefore, to escape the pain of being otherized and the difficulty to sustain his identity, Othello takes the miscegenation as a symbiotic refuge where he seems to be able to regain the once lost absolute jouissance and to have Desdemona support his identity. However, this symbiosis remains a fantasy and Othello’s circumstance in Venice is hardly improved by this marriage. Moreover, because of his otherness, Othello becomes the target of attack for Iago. Iago is a pervert who serves Venetian symbolic order and excludes the Other, Othello and even Desdemona. His service is achieved by intervening into the symbiosis as the father in the Oedipal triangle, and by making Venetian symbolic order which he represents in a perverse way as the superego or double of Othello. Following racism and misogyny represented by Iago in an obscene way, Othello, who has psychologically regressed from a neurotic subject to a pervert by the double, believes Desdemona’s adultery instantly and serves the perverse Venetian symbolic order by excluding her as the Other. But the regression does not stop because, by the racism constantly reminded by Iago, Othello is gradually divided into the Othello as a Venetian servant and the Othello as an abjected Moor. Unable to deny the existence of the Othello as abject, Othello finally breaks down as a psychotic and excludes himself as the last service of Venice.
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