Othello stands up for Desdemona when first questioned. “Villain, be sure thou prove my love a whore, Be sure of it; give me the ocular proof: Or by the worth of man's eternal soul, Thou hadst been better have been born a dog Than answer my waked wrath! (3.3)” When Othello says this to Iago, it is shown that he does indeed trust completely in Desdemona becuase of how offended he is when Iago even mentions it. Othello even talks about how he needs proof and that Iago had better been born a dog than face how angry he was in the moment. However when given proof, Othello went from standing up for Desdemona to the point where he wanted to kill her.
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.
As a tragic hero, Othello must have a high position to fall from, but his high position must not keep him from being likeable. He must be noble in position and personality. The audience must be able to recognize his humanity, feel sympathy for him, in order to experience the catharsis a tragedy offers. When Othello is forced to defend himself before the duke and senators against Brabantio’s accusation that he used witchcraft to seduce Desdemona, his noble personality is clearly established. Details of his speech, specifically diction, syntax, repetition, imagery, and figurative language, characterize Othello as noble, one worthy of both admiration and sympathy.
A quick search of an online text of Othello shows that Othello refers to Iago as honest fourteen times throughout the play, and each time, he has no hesitations in assigning this trait to Iago. For whatever reasons, which are probably depicted before the span of the play, Othello is entirely confident of Iago’s honesty. This belief is what allows Iago to turn his mind so easily. Iago even admits in a soliloquy that “The Moor is of a free and open nature / That thinks men honest that but seem to be so; / And will as tenderly be led by the nose / As asses are” (1.3.391-4). The fact that Othello truly believes Iago is honest, coupled with the fact that he has no reason to be suspicious of a plot against him, especially from Iago, is what lets Iago’s plan become so successful.
In William Shakespeare’s All’s Well that Ends Well, Mariana states “no legacy is so rich as honesty” (All’s Well that Ends Well). This statement allows Shakespeare to make the claim that honesty serves as a necessity for a successful legacy. The idea of honesty plays a prominent role in other Shakespeare works, with the word honest appearing multiple times in many of them. However, the word honesty plays the largest role in Othello. The use of the word honest to describe both Iago and Desdemona allows Shakespeare to heighten the dramatic irony in Othello.
Not only is this for the audience to understand that his words are kept to himself, but for him to be alone on stage parallels the devil’s solidarity in Hell. The ease which comes with performing his plots is purely second nature and part of his identity because he is one with the devil. Part of Iago’s transfer of evil to cause disorder is when he fully intends to spark Othello’s jealousy in love. The telling of Iago to Othello that Desdemona laid “naked with her friend in bed” plants a devil inside Othello’s brain (4.1.5). The devil continues to haunt Othello and causes him to act without reason, like an animal with no conscience.
There are four characters in the manga version of Othello that are particularly interesting to look at: First, the main character Othello himself, his wife Desdemona, his right-hand man Cassio and finally the malevolent mastermind behind the chaos, Iago. For the visual analysis, I shall also focus on pages 3-11 of the manga, since they are an exposition of the characters and color. Othello Othello in the original play is a righteous man that has earned himself a high reputation by hard work, even though he has a disadvantage due to his race. He seeks to be virtuous and appears to be calm, collected and fearless. He is loyal to his wife and confident about his own capacity to carry out instructions given by the Venetian court.
In Othello, Shakespeare uses manipulation to show how it has the power to change your perspective of the people you trust the most. Manipulation can ruin your perspective of someone, even who you are closest to. In the play, Iago feeds Othello lies about his wife Desdemona. Iago’s false words enraged Othello and Othello begins to think poorly of his innocent wife. Othello angrily turns to Iago and yells “ O, devil, devil!” (IIII.i.273) in frustration with his loyal bride.
Through Iago’s manipulation and Othello’s inability to think critically, Othello becomes very suspicious of Desdemona and believes she is having an affair with Cassio. Although Iago has little evidence, he easily convinces Othello of Desdemona’s infidelity. Othello only mentions his beliefs about Desdemona a few times in front of her, which causes her to feel confused about why he is angry. With no debate, Othello decides to plan for his wife’s death. One night, Othello finds Desdemona asleep in bed.
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