Othello’s severe distrust towards Desdemona is largely because of Iago’s attempt to convince Othello of Desdemona’s affair with Cassio. Throughout the play Othello battles between trusting his wife or trusting his seemingly loyal friend. Othello changes his perspective drastically moments before he inevitably dies. Othello starts Act V furious with Desdemona and slowly realizes how Iago misguided him so greatly. After Desdemona’s loyalty is revealed, Othello understands that Desdemona never betrayed him.
Othello is a tragic hero because of his tragic mistake. There are many unwanted behaviors in Othello, like his jealousy and lack of caution. Nevertheless, the center of these troubles and his major tragic mistake is his lack of confidence because he is the only black character and an outsider in Venice. His weakness makes him an effortless objective for Iago to use his mind; he starts to accept as true that he is poor for Desdemona: “She’s gone, I am abused, and my relief must be to loathe her. Oh, curse of marriage that we can call these delicate creatures ours and not their appetites!” (3.3.283-286).
Regardless of the lack of trust from Othello, Desdemona did deceive her father prior to the situation. She went against her father’s will and chose to marry the Moor, Othello. The trust bond shared between Othello and Desdemona had been broken due to the lies that were being fed to him which ultimately led to the death of both their lives. In Shakespeare’s Othello, a wedding based on a lie,
Othello does not want to physically harm Desdemona because he think she is beautiful and does not want her skin to be flawed so he will kill her in a way that will not be make any damage to her body. “Yet I’ll not shed her blood; / Nor scar that whiter skin of hers than snow” (5, 2, 3-4). By Othello not wanting to harm her body Shakespeare symbolizes their love as he loves her but fails to trust her and learn the truth of Iago’s plans. Othello mentions that once roses are plucked they can no longer grow again and need to wither because that is how nature works. “When I have pluck’d the rose, I cannot give it vital growth again.
He thinks of himself as no one, someone on the periphery of social and political power. Furthermore, he also believes that being black will impact his interactions with people, especially his relationship with Desdemona. The critics who believe that Othello’s skin color is important for the character and for the interpretation of the play also suggest that this is in fact the reason why he experiences lack of confidence. Racism is a powerful issue as Shakespeare presents the color and ethnicities as social constructs that can be made to havoc with one’s own sense of self. The author shaped his character in that way in order to assert that race and implications of being an individual in the position of power push Othello’s into his own self-destruction nature rooted in doubt and fear.
Othello 's race differentiates him from all other characters and makes him very self-conscious. It makes him work harder for his reputation, so he has the possibility to be regarded as equal to the white people that dominate Venice. Perhaps this is the reason for his success, but the prejudice that is being projected onto him, especially considering his marriage to Desdemona leads to a tragic outcome. Another topic that is being repeated through the play is magic. Othello is accused of using magic to woo his future wife, merely because of his racial disparity, and therefore is called a “pagan” (Shakespeare, 2016, Act 1 Scene 1).
In the play Othello is a general in the Venetian Army and is well respected and trusted by his white leaders due to his good work. This goes against the prejudices people had about Moors in that time However, throughout the play there is a constant racist atmosphere which becomes clearly visible when Othello marries the senator Brabantio’s daughter, Desdemona. This shows that people respect Othello to a certain extend but do not want to have anything to do with him on a personal level. Despite his high army rank Brabantio still does not think he is good enough to marry his daughter. Moreover there is Iago, a flag carrier in the army who despises Othello for his position and makes various racist remarks towards and about Othello throughout the play.
Iago let his vengeful ways and deceitful motives alter his decisions while Othello appears in the opening acts as the very personification of self control”(Harbage). The two characters are meant to balance each other out, but Iago gets too deep in Othello’s head, leaving him susceptible to lash out. Shakespeare wants to bring attention to the fact that no matter how hard one tries, the darkness creeps on eventually and wins. By this point in the play, all the character’s true colors have been shown. “Othello is forced to recognize that he lives in a tragic world, and he pays the price” which causes him to have his tragic downfall(Harbage).
First, he uses derogatory terms to describe Othello such as a moor. Because of these, the audience may suspect that his motive is due to him being black and in a high position. In addition, he suspected his wife Emilia to be having an affair with Othello which, to the audience, may be another reason why revenge is desired. Thirdly, Iago mentions his motive to try to get Cassio out of the lieutenant position. As the audience receives more information about his hatred for Othello, it is still vague on how and why exactly Iago wants to destroy him.
In William Shakespeare’s Othello, the play is a tragedy constructed by the antagonist Iago; also known as a two-sided character. Throughout Act I, Iago is more of a complex character, who is racist, manipulative, jealous and two-faced. He continuously complains he hates Othello, all because Othello didn’t appoint him as an officer. Iago plans to take Roderigo’s money, and convince Othello that Desdemona had an affair with Cassio. Iago’s two-sided character served the purpose of strengthening the plot and character development throughout the play.