Othello Literary Analysis

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British Literature
Othello Literary Analysis

Othello, Shakespeare In Shakespeare’s play Othello, Iago uses racial distinction to persuade Othello into believing there is an affair between Desdemona and Cassio. Iago feeds upon Othello’s insecurities to raise his fury. Othello's self-doubting eventually leads to downfall; his doubt within himself causes him to distrust Desdemona and her love for him. Othello uses his race as his scapegoat for his belief in being poor spoken and revolting, as he states, “My name, that was as fresh as Dian’s visage, is now begrimed and black as mine own face” (III.iii.441-43). As Othello falls deeper into his fury he is seen as regressing back to his vicious native heritage. Iago continues to feed the fire pointing out Othello’s savage actions, for example, “I have seen the cannon when it hath blown his ranks into the air and, like the devil, from his very arm puffed his own brother…”(III.iv.154-59). As the story progresses Iago pushes Othello into uncertainty and drives him mad. Iago is a character who owns tragic flaws, and is responsible for Othello’s demise.  Through the first few acts, Othello seems strong, noble and boastful, but this swiftly changes when Iago puts his plan into action. Iago’s accusations of Desdemona and Cassio’s affair affect Othello severely and brings out his insecurities. Jealousy is Othello’s major tragic flaw. Iago ultimately leads him to the decision that he will kill his once beloved Desdemona.  “Ay, let her rot, and perish, and be damned to-night: For she shall not live: no, my heart is turned to stone; I strike it, and it hurts my hand.”(IV.i.65) Othello drastically changes from a character that loves and is compassionate to admitting that his heart has turned to stone and he can love no more. His distrust and gullibility overcomes his noble and caring qualities which lead to him murdering his wife, and his ultimate death by suicide.  "I kissed you, ere I killed you: no way but...
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