Othello Analysis

Othello Analysis
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Shakespeare is well renowned for portraying repeating topics in his writings, particularly the themes of betrayal, hatred, and love.  These aspects are showcased in most if not all of these plays. However, jealousy is a pronounced topic, throughout Shakespeare’s plays. It plays a part in almost all the characters’ lives – when Roderigo is malicious of Othello, as he feels that he deserved to be in an affair with Desdemona; Othello’s wife. As such, this retrospect paper seeks to…..bring out the incidences of jealousy in the play.

In the play, jealousy and hatred in portrayed in most of all the acts.

The first evidence of jealousy is portrayed when Desdemona marries Othello without her father’s knowledge. Iago is filled with hatred and jealousy towards Othello as he appointed Cassio as a lieutenant and not him. This decision gives Iago all the reasons to begin his revenge mission to Othello. Jealousy also comes out through Desdemona’s relationship with Cassio. Desdemona is in love with Cassio hence unfaithful to her husband, Othello. Iago takes this opportunity to corrupt Othello’s mind. He makes Othello believe that his wife is unfaithful; this makes Othello not only lose his marriage but also his friendship with Cassio. Through Iago’s good choice of words and misguiding events, he makes Othello kill his wife because of jealousy as he believed his life was not faithful. Finally, Iago uses Roderigo to engage Desdemona’s father Brabantio in a dialogue with an intention of making him hate Othello. All this was because of his jealousy towards Othello.

 Iago comments on Cassio and Desdemona when he was with Othello sees them together to make Othello feel they did it intentionally. Othello becomes is upset and malicious because he feels that his wife is in a relationship with someone else.  . Othello is enraged with hatred towards Cassio and covered with envy since he was not given an opportunity to serve as a lieutenant, following Cassio’s appointment. Shakespeare’s Othello play commences when Iago restricts Roderigo within his scope within his well-timed words, therefore, making him act as he says. Roderigo has affectionate feelings towards Desdemona, therefore, opts to bribe him in lieu of Desdemona’s attention.

This shows Iago‘s wickedness. Following Iago’s assertions and behaviors, we understand his wickedness as a manipulative character. He orchestrates a strategy that seeks to portray Othello as unfit for Desdemona. He does this by coming up with an idea that Othello stole Desdemona’s feelings by sacrament ways. He goes ahead to convince Roderigo to face Desdemona’s father, Brabantio. Iago advice Roderigo to call Desdemona’s father Brabantio asking him to provoke Othello…trigger his desires…do, with like nervous drawl and horrible shout (Act one. i. 64-65, 75). His objective was not to help Roderigo get Desdemona instead he aimed at getting Othello in Brabantio’s trap hence cause discomfort to Othello.

Iago convinces Roderigo that Desdemona’s marriage with Othello was not out of love but witchcraft. Iago makes excellent use of his choice of words and clever timing when dealing with Roderigo and Othello. Iago depicts his timing as he talks with Roderigo about the uncertainties concerning Desdemona’s relationship with Othello. Iago, He says, she did not love Othello willingly, but there was some force related to it. (Act three, i. 230-234). In this dialogue, Iago portrays Othello as a betrayer and Desdemona falls into his trap and marries him. He applies this statement to try and convince Roderigo to believe he stands the chance to break the marriage of Othello and Desdemona. Blackmailing Roderigo is fuelled hatred that he holds over Othello.

Iago creates a misguiding incidence about the handkerchief which was given to Desdemona as a gift by her husband being in Cassio’s possession. He needs Othello to be mad with envy and jealousy because his wife is in love with Cassio; Iago starts expressing his envy and fury by stating misleading statements of Desdemona’s unfaithfulness. He makes a light comment about Desdemona and Cassio when they are seen together with an aim of making Othello, even more, suspicious and jealous This makes Othello, even more, worried and suspicious about Cassio and Desdemona two. Iago and Othello engage in a dialogue that further results in Othello’s suspense on his wife. This comes out as he refuses to answer Othello’s question. (Act three, iii. 34-40).  Tentatively, it shows Iago’s exploitation. Iago refuses to answer Othello’s question so as to make him more suspicious about Cassio’s relationship with Desdemona hence reducing his trust in Cassio. In this instance, Iago is satisfied as he manages to change Othello’s view of Cassio. Additionally, he leaves Othello with the desire to get more information hence making him more suspicious about his wife’s unfaithfulness.

Iago manages to convince Othello from the discussion that they had thus made him think like him. Iago applies tricks by using misguiding events to his benefit by creating forged evidence as to why characters should act in a certain manner, more so when it comes to Desdemona. He makes Othello reason in a similar manner hence making him take action to kill his wife, Desdemona. This is evidenced at Desdemona’s death and the occurrences leading to her death. Othello becomes furious and jealous where Iago. They then engage in a dialogue that further gives Iago a chance to convince Othello about the relationship between Desdemona and Cassio.  (Act three iii. 416-417, 434-436).

Iago heaps more jealousy to Othello through imagery that he demonstrates, more so the issue of the handkerchief which makes Othello even furious. This makes Othello shout and over carried with anger.  (ACT THREE, iii. 428). Iago shows his trickery about people’s irrationality in the conversation. He goes ahead to play his game by trying to stop Othello execute his plans of killing Desdemona.

Jealousy is a strong and powerful feeling. It is thought to cause misunderstanding in relationships such as marriage and friendships. The ruin of these kinds of relationships by jealousy has been portrayed in Shakespeare’s Othello. Iago’s jealousy has led to unhappiness and misery for many in the play; people have lost a lot in terms of friendship, lives, and many more as I have outlined in the paper.

Works cited:             

Academic Search Premier. Ebsco. LaGrange College Library Lagrange. 24 April 2012.

Macaulay, Marcia. “When Chaos Is Come Again: Narrative and Narrative Analysis in Othello.” Style 39 2012: 1- 13.

Omer, Haim, and Marcello de Verona. “Doctor Iago’s Treatment of Othello.” American Journal of Psychology 45 2012: 1-12. 

Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Othello. Literature: Approaches to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2012. 1012-1095.

Zender, Karl. “The Humiliation of Iago.” English Literature 34 2012: 323-330.


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