The Evolution of Othello’s Character
Another of Shakespeare’ tragedy, the moor of Venice, story revolves around Othello, a moor and a brave general, very skilled in the military and Desdemona, the daughter of Venetian Senator. Othello and Desdemona are married, a couple that is in love with each other, and from the play we become aware of the inter-racial marriage between these two characters. Othello faces ruin when he falls into the schematic, evil-planned betrayal of his ensign Iago. I ago acts out of revenge for not being promoted. Iago poisons the love between Othello and Desdemona as he feeds Othello with false information of an alleged affair his wife supposedly has on his absence. Othello with his too trusting attitude falls for Iagos deceit. Desdemona tries to win her husbands trust but to no vain. She says: “I saw Othello’s visage in his mind, /and to his honours and his valiant parts/did my soul and fortunes consecrate” (Education Department of The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey 4).
The play focuses on passion and jealousy, Shakespeare masters the mysterious power and fragility of love, he brings out the destructive power of doubt and suspicion. The villain a character who masters studies his targets weakness and uses it against him comes out in this play. In the play, we have a chance of seeing Othello and Desdemona plead for their love in front of the senator. The couple overcomes prejudice and objections levelled against their marital union, an inter-racial union. Iago, however, poisons Othello with lies, and he uses other characters to convince Othello of the false accusations levelled against his wife. Othello driven by blind jealousy, desperate rage, he ends up killing his innocent wife and taking his own life.
In the play, it is clear that evil ambitions lead to the destruction of pure hearts, and deception plays a key role in the destruction of trust. We observe a scene where Othello admits to Desdemona: “think’st thou I’d make a life of jealousy/ follow still the changes of the moon/ with fresh suspicions” (Education Department of The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey 6). It is a play that focuses on the tragedy of love misunderstood, trust lost, honesty besmeared, and lives ruined due to obvious lies. The play focuses in cautioning against jealousy. Shakespeare summarises by calling it the green-eyed monster, which doth mock/ the meat it feeds on daily. From the play, one makes a judgement of Othello’s character, although he is a skilled soldier, honourable by birth, skilled in the art of war, in matters pertaining judgement of humans he is depicted as being too trusting to anyone who appears to be honest. This eventually costs him his love and life.
Othello represented all contrasting image that a white man would never perceive of a black man during the Shakespeare age. Othello represents a Christian African against a diabolical white; again, we get the image of an honourable self-restrained African against a sensual, debased white man who lusts after his wife. Othello believes that he is a part of the society, and he is proud if his state. Committed to the state religion, his believes turn out to be false hope. Iago achieves his negativity, and although, Othello goes down in dignity and poignance, he remains an honourable warrior. His trust in Iago is not because he is stupid but because Iago is his standard-bearer in war. The story reduces Othello from a heroic, individual who has power, assurance, and dignity to a raging, jealous husband, and a murderer. He gets out of control and falls for Iagos deception. It is a story that focuses on loss, loss of trust, love and life. It truly is a tragedy.
Education Department of The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. “Othello by Willliam Slhakesopeare.” The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (2004): 4-21. Print.