Self Confidence In Othello

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William Shakespeare, the 16th to 17th century English playwright, dwelt on themes dealing with human nature: love, hate, power, jealousy, humour, discrimination and self-respect. He made the often-quoted observation that “our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we might oft win by fearing to attempt”, voicing the danger of doubt which could ultimately lead to loss of self-esteem. In his play, Othello, the moor, who was perceived as a courageous military hero, met his downfall due to the erosion of his self-esteem, and as a result, tragedy ensued. In the play, Othello trusted Iago unconditionally, to the extent that he came to seriously question himself and the trustworthiness of Desdemona, his wife, whom he genuinely cared…show more content…
Unfortunately, he trusted the wrong person due to his growing lack of self-esteem. Iago, a hypocrite who hid his evil thoughts by appearing as a man of extreme honesty, saw that he could erode Othello’s self-esteem because of who he was, a moor living in European society. He realized he could manipulate Othello for his own evil ends. He slyly used pathos to gain his trust, saying, “My Lord, you know I love you” (III.iii.118) to convince him of his honesty and reliability. Then he suggested the unpredictable nature of Desdemona by saying, “Ay, there’s the point: as, to be bold with you, not to affect many proposed matches of her own clime, complexion, and degree, whereto we see in all things nature tends - Foh!” (III.iii.230-234). Thus he reminded Othello that possibly he was not considered suitable for her love. Knowing that his blackness placed him in society as an outsider, Othello began to suspect that his personality and accomplishments could never overcome his inferior background. He questioned his confidence in the reputation and social standing he thought he had gained, and he failed to notice the presence of evil and dishonesty in others. Iago’s appearance, as a
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