Passion is the leading motive in Shakespeare’s Othello and Marquez’s Chronicle of a Death Foretold. Though the protagonists of the stories regard their feelings as love, the analysis of their actions reveals that their motives are dictated more by selfish passion than by pure and altruistic love.
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In Othello, the main protagonist is overwhelmed by strong feelings resulting in adverse consequences. It appears that the feelings and actions of Othello are dictated by passion rather than by love. Love is free of selfishness and manifestations of possessive instinct while Othello’s actions are encouraged by his egoism and willingness to be the only master of Desdemona’s body and soul.
Though first he truly falls in love with Desdemona, later the strong jealousy overweighs his love and turns him from a loving husband into a passionate one. Othello is a great example of how passion provoked by jealousy can uncover the dark side of the personality. Othello’s unwillingness to listen to Desdemona’s explanations revealing her innocence, obsession with searching for the proves of her unfaithfulness, and inability to judge the events logically demonstrate that Othello’s mind is severely darkened by the devastating jealousy, which is typical of passion.
Shakespeare demonstrates the difference between passion and love by the example of Othello, whose devastating passion makes him selfish and destroys his love to Desdemona, whose feelings are altruistic and free of egoism. Iago is another hero of the play driven by passion provoked by jealousy. Though there is a lack of explanations of his motifs, he appears to be guided by jealousy.
He is jealous because he thinks Othello has seduced his wife and because of the Moor’s fame and young, beautiful wife. Shakespeare uses this character to reveal how the passion for revenge can drive the person to commit the crimes and destroy the lives of innocent people.
In Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Marquez pictures the number of protagonists driven by passion. The passion for honor overshadows love for most characters of the story, as honor is valued much higher than love by the inhabitants of the city. The Vicario brothers serve as an example of such priorities in the society. Prior to the wedding, they do not care about the sister’s feelings and encourage her to marry Bayardo without love.
They also pay little attention to the feelings of Angela and do not put much effort in soothing her after a humiliating return to father’s home. However, they are passionate about following the code of honor accepted in the society, which considers that loss of Angela’s virginity obliges the brothers to revenge the sister’s lost honor. The conflict between their unwillingness to kill a person and the feeling of duty to avenge the insult to the family’s honor demonstrates how much passionate they are about being respected members of the society.
The feelings of Angela and Bayardo can also be called passion though its causes differ from the ones related to the passion of the Vicario brothers. Angela, who is not in love with Bayardo prior to their wedding, falls in love with him after he returns her home during their first night after the wedding. However, Angela’s feelings resemble obsession more than love.
Her love to Bayardo is highly questionable as she does not even know his personality. They have not communicated much before the wedding, and both of them know very little about each other except their outward appearance and social status. She becomes passionate about Bayardo because of the loss of her honor. In fact, it appears that this passion is encouraged by the feelings of regret and shame more than by affection to Bayardo.
Angela feels attached to Bayardo because of the shame her impurity has brought to him and regard her regretful obsession as love. Bayardo also does not love Angela, as he is driven by lust, which is a typical component of passion. His feelings towards Angela have a purely selfish ground as he views her as a beautiful trophy and is not interested in her personality and soul. His affection towards the beautiful, young lady forces him to use the power of wealth to make her his wife instead of winning her heart.
The main protagonists of the discussed stories are driven by passion rather than by love. Their actions are selfish and self-centered, which is a typical constituent of passion. The authors oppose the passion with love by revealing the true nature and devastating effects of the former.