European Journal of English Language and Literature Studies (EJELLS)

EA Journals


Defamiliarizing Iago in Othello: To be or not to be the Hero, that is the Question (Published)

There is a customary notion that Shakespeare’s Othello portrays Iago as an evil character who disturbs the smooth lifestyle of the protagonist, Othello. But if Iago was absent, would the play develop? Would Othello become round character and therefore the protagonist? Would there be any play written on the flat character of Othello? It leads us to pave the way for a second thought regarding Iago’s role. This paper aims to analyze his character and seek alternative ways of comprehending him so that the traditional idea can be destabilized and a new scope can emerge. The paper examines him by means of textual analysis to explore the features of his thoughts and actions. Then narrative analysis locates the structure which may situate him in the category of hero. It restrains us to be judgmental or make hurry to digest the typically long-accepted conclusion. There can be insights available out there of making him the villain. The paper doesn’t intend to renounce or check them, rather it argues that it’s not the ultimate outcome for which the other possibilities should be weighed down or go unheeded. It wants to shed light on the other paths that may avail Iago to make his journey to heroism. Which contention is more relevant, valuable or appropriate that’s not its point. But the directions should not be limited.

Keywords: Controlling power, Iago, Narrative structure, Title of the play, hero

Language in the Portrayal of the Protagonists of Achebe’s Novels (Published)

This paper analyses the language used in the portrayal of the characters of Chinua Achebe’s novels. This is the language used by the characters in discourse, and the narrators in the novels. The study reveals that the protagonists start off as heroes and eventually end up as antiheroes on account of high-handedness, dishonesty, corruption, violence, sexual promiscuity, ill temperament, vindictiveness, and murder. The study applies the theory of deconstruction in the assessment of the characters and reveals that the protagonists are antiheroes rather than heroes: Okonkwo in Things Fall Apart (1958), Obi Okonkwo in No Longer at Ease (1960), Ezeulu in Arrow of God (1964), Odili Samalu in A Man of the People (1966), and Sam in Anthills of the Savannah (1988). In deconstructing the protagonists, the five primary texts are read the first time and they reveal the protagonists as heroes. This first reading forms the basis for the second deconstructive “critical reading” which unveils the heroes as antiheroes.  The publications and the themes of the novels of Achebe span over pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial Nigeria. Subsequently, the paper concludes that as antiheroes, the protagonists are barbaric and are not good exemplary African leaders. The characters therefore present the novels they appear in as colonialist, rather than anti-colonialist literature. This paper therefore recommends that Achebe’s novels should be seen as colonialist literature.

Keywords: Language, Protagonists, antihero, deconstruction, hero

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