All the relationships in the play are used to demonstrate the vulnerability of people when involved personally with other people. Each of the relationships in Othello portrays insecurities in each person, except Iago. In fact, all of the relationships with one character, Iago, are focused around him and his devilish plot for the demise of Othello. However, most of the relationships in Othello bring about unintentional frustrations and vulnerabilities. The marriages in Othello are the most important relationships in conferring vulnerability because they bring out the best hopes and attitudes, and the worst fears and emotions in each character.
Shakespeare, in designing Othello's marriage to Desdemona, shows that although one can truly love a person, the need for human control can destroy any relationship causing heartbreak and turmoil. From the very beginning, Othello faces a dilemma of vulnerability because of his marriage. In his essay, Eldred Jones has concurred with this by stating that Othello made himself available to public criticism and assaults on his character by marrying a young white girl ("Othello- An Interpretation" Critical essays l42). Furthermore, the couple's constant struggle over power and control makes them susceptible to destruction of their happiness. Othello seeks complete control over his wife, Desdemona. Othello claims this in act 3.3 line 267-270.
O curse of marriage.
That we can call these creatures ours,
And not their appetites! I had rather be a toad
And live upon the vapor of a dungeon.
Then keep a corner in the thing I love
Othello is clearly showing that he sees Desdemona's love, faithfulness and submissions as criteria for his manhood. His feelings demonstrate how vulnerable people can become in putting their self-value in another person. Desdemona also plays the power game. She swears to Cassio
I give thee my warrant, assure thee, I do vow friendship
to the last article my lord shall never rest;
I shall watch him tame and talk him out of patience.
(3.3 line 19-28)
These words of Desdemona clearly present Desdemona's assertion to use sexual power to control Othello's actions. Emily Bartrels states that Desdemona "Promises to make it fearful and difficult...