In both Shakespeare’s Othello and Garcia’s Chronicles of a Death Foretold, the themes of love, passion, and death are connected. In most cases, death occurs as a result of the violence that is ignited by passion, which seemingly originates from love. However, a critical reading of the texts begs the question: do the killings in the novels occur for love, or are they due to misplaced priorities and delicate egos?
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People are unable to differentiate between love and passion. In most cases, the line between the two is very thin. Some scholars, who have attempted to define the two aspects, claim that passion is a temporal state of being, while love is part of life, and it tends to be more permanent. The two novels bring out these meanings in a very clear manner. The characters in the novels are doing extraordinary things since they are motivated by love, but the reality is that they are encouraged by their relatively high levels of passion. Passion is not always a negative thing as noted in the narrations. In fact, it is a term that can be used with both negative and positive verbs, such as love and hate.
Othello, without a shadow of a doubt, loves his wife, Desdemona. However, the act of killing her does not necessarily mean that he does it due to love. Actually, it can be argued that he acts out of fury. His fury, one might claim, is inspired by his passion, hatred, and jealousy, which render him incapable of listening to the voice of reason even as it comes from his dying wife. In one instance, Iago triggers the spark of jealousy in him, and he fails to see anything else. Consequently, innocent people end up dying. Similarly, the Vicario brothers may have loved their sister, but their acts of committing murder to protect or rather revenge her lost honor are not borne out of their love. Primarily, one can argue that it is their reputation that they are protecting at two levels. First, they feel that if they do not take vengeance on Santiago, they would fail in their duty to protect their sister. Secondly, they had vowed to kill Santiago. To them, failing to live up to the “promise” would lead to erosion of their self and public perceptions as men. Briefly stated the code by which they live dictates that if a man vows to do something, he will have to do it or relinquish his manhood.
The discussion above, answers the question raised in this assignment on whether the core characters in the novels act due to love and/or passion. The question can be argued in two different perceptions. The argument on Othello and his love for his wife, for example, can be regarded from a viewpoint where Othello is blinded by passion because of the love he has for Desdemona. Was it not for the passionate love he has for her, maybe he should have investigated whether the accusations that Iago is making are real or not? It has been proved that betrayal comes from people we love, and it is worse if it comes from the people we love most.
Nevertheless, the love of the Vicario brothers to their sister can be debated for the reason that, throughout the novel, love is not mentioned as being the reason for killing Santiago. The brothers feel dishonored after their sister is returned home on her wedding night for the reason that she is not a virgin. Therefore, it is their duty to revenge for their lost honor, which is not for the love that they have for their sister. One can argue that the brothers have killed Santiago, not due to the fact they love their sister so much and that they feel much pain, but for the reason, they had sworn to kill her. Thus, society was waiting for their next step.
The question of whether Othello loves Desdemona or she is just a woman that he is in love with can also be answered. Othello loves his wife, and that is why Iago found it fit to use Desdemona to annoy Othello. The statement of his love for Desdemona can also be argued differently based on societal presentations of men and women. Naturally, when a man cheats on his wife, the case is not so serious, but if the opposite happens, the damage cannot be reversed in the short-term. It might be argued that Othello does not love Desdemona and, just like the Vicario brothers, he has killed her to heal his bruised ego. He has also arranged for Cassio to be killed to avenge, which is not due to the love he has for his wife, but due to the disgrace that the two people have allegedly brought. Desdemona, on the other hand, loves her husband so much that even on her dying bed, she defends him, pretending to have committed suicide. Othello can also be said to have been driven by pride, especially at this moment when he proudly confesses to Emilia for killing his wife.