In Othello, like many of Shakespeare’s plays, the main character causes his own downfall. Othello’s tragic flaw is his bad judgment when making decisions, and it is noticeable from the very beginning of the play. In the first act he makes a bad choice of who should be his new lieutenant in battle. Then, he tells everyone he married his woman behind her father’s back, and Othello later has trust issues with his wife, Desdemona, because of this. Othello has bad judgment about whom he should trust, too. He fully trusts the villain, Iago, instead of his innocent wife, Desdemona. If Othello would have made better decisions throughout the entire play, many lives would be saved, including his own.
In act one of Othello, Iago complains to his companion, Roderigo, about how much he hates Cassio because Cassio was chosen as the new lieutenant by Othello. Iago strongly believes he was the best choice for the job. He says that Cassio “never set a squadron in the field, nor the division of battle knows more than a spinster”(1.1.20-22). If Othello had better judgment, he would have chosen the more experienced soldier to be his new officer. If he had done so, Iago would not have been so jealous of Cassio. Without jealousy, Iago would have had no reasons to lie or plot the murders of Cassio or Othello. His bad choice only leads to more bad judgment throughout the story.
Soon after Iago finishes talking to Roderigo, Othello admits that he married Desdemona without the permission of Brabantio, her father. Othello does not see this as a problem, but he should have chosen to include Barbantio in the marriage so he knew that Desdemona was trustworthy. Then, Iago could not use her betrayal towards her father as a reason for Othello to think she cannot be trusted. (Insert quote)
Othello’s biggest misjudgment is deciding to trust Iago’s words. Professor Ali Niamat writes that Iago “seems more cunning than devil himself; wearing the thick mask of...