By Michalis S. Michael
In many ways, Shakespeare’s Michael Cassio epitomises the quintessential European experience in the Cyprus conflict. A minor character who manages to play a major (distressing) role in the affairs of Cyprus’ ruling couple!
Young, handsome, well-educated, passionate, often prone to bouts of dramatic exhortation, this Florentine gentleman-soldier of high manners, with eye-catching gallantry, is promoted above his capability, experience and capacity, to become the envy and scorn of his contemporaries.
His fatal foray into Cyprus’ affairs is accosted by his romantic idealisation (of people and situations) as well as by his proclivity towards absolute dichotomies. And while he began, with almost missionary zeal, on a quest to (re)unite Othello and his idolised Desdemona, he ends up becoming the foil character – prone to manipulation by those of less moral fortitude that so inhibit the political arena – then and now!
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