F. R. Leavis's Diabolic Intellect And The Noble Hero

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The title of F.R.Leavis’ critique on Othello itself depicts the entire critique. The main title of his critique “Diabolic Intellect and the Noble Hero” suggests the Bradley’s point of view of analyzing Othello, which according to Leavis is sentimental approach towards Othello. Leavis accused Bradley and other critics who supported Bradley’s point of view for not being objective. And thus he called them sentimental and their critique “Sentimentalist’s Othello”. According to Leavis, because of the collective opinion about Othello, it essence suffers. He says that “relevant discussion of its tragic significance” (p.136) is the result of extrinsic approach i.e. “character-analysis”. Leavis himself was liberal humanist and that’s why he accused Bradley of using extrinsic approach. In spite of the fact, that Bradley also proved his points by giving examples from the text. Leavis called Bradley’s criticism on Othello “extravagant in misdirected scrupulosity” (p.136) and accused Bradley for lacking knowledge. The reason Leavis assume of misunderstanding by Bradley is that Bradley didn’t fully understand the text, therefore the evidence he give lacks ‘weigh’ (p.136). Bradley’s wrong interpretation of text was due to the lack of understanding of words on text, which happened due to him being sentimental, and that’s the reason he excessively ‘misdirected’ (p.136) the quality of moral integrity in Othello. Leavis disagree with the Othello being centre of the play “Othello”.

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