The protagonist of the play, Othello is a man trapped by his own weaknesses rather than a victim of circumstance. Even though the situations that Othello finds himself in are not ideal and contribute to his downfall, it is his own fatal flaws that end up destroying him.
In act 3 scene 3 Iago starts to plant a seed of doubt in Othello’s mind about his wife Desdemona and her infidelity. Iago proceeds to ask Othello, “Did Michael Cassio, when you wooed my lady, know of you love?” This question immediately causes Othello to become suspicious. Iago then follows with a series of rhetorical questions that enrage Othello as well increase the doubt that is building up in his mind. By the end of this scene we see one of Othello’s weaknesses present itself, jealousy. This particular flaw becomes one of the major contributions to Othello’s downfall. By the end of the play jealousy has clouded his judgment and taken over his perspective on everything. At first Othello insists that he needs proof of the alleged affair but quickly changes his mind. “Must be to loathe her. O curse of marriage.”
Act 4 scene 1, Iago informs Othello that Desdemona and Cassio have slept together and he has seen that she has given Cassio the handkerchief Othello gave her when they first fell in love. All this news that Iago keeps telling him sends Othello off into a rant, “Is’t possible? - Confess? Handkerchief? O devil!” After this his falls into a trance. This is the moment when all Othello’s insecurities, fears and aversions as well as the obvious lack of judgment that a leader is assumed to have combine to create this kind of epileptic fit. In this scene stage directions are used to help the reader understand what is going on for a dramatic effect. Two of Othello’s flaws that cause this downfall are passion and gullibility. These feelings enabled Iago fill his head with lies that caused him to get so worked up that he lost control.
In act 5 scene 1 Iago had convinced Othello that he...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document