In the beginning of the play, Othello is mentioned in description by Iago and Roderigo during their discussion rather than being physically present; “The Moore”(1.i57) , “the thick-lips” (I.i.66), “an old black ram” (I.i.88), and “a Barbary horse” (I.i.113). Other than description, we do not see Othello till Act 1, scene iii. We understand in the beginning through Iago And Roderigo’s discussions that Othello is an outsider, by description racially and culturally. I believe Shakespeare used this obvious divide as a primer for Iago’s spite for Othello although not as the motive. Even though Othello stands culturally and racially apart, he is still in high demand as a championed soldier/General, employed by the Venetian civic society. His reputation of leadership and military clout has earned him the trust of the Ventian people giving him the political and military responsibilities of the city of Cypris, district of Venice. Othello is an extremely charismatic character. The factor of his attractive exotic profile has gained him the attentions of even his civic peers such as Desdemona and Brabontio. He says, “Desdemona’s father loved me, oft invited me, / Still questioned me the story of my life / from year to year” (I.iii.127–129).
The theme of Othello’s conflict as an outsider seems to always be plaguing Othello. Brabontio admires Othello and his stories and yet, cannot find Othello worthy of his daughter. This is due to Othello being an outsider and stands as a staple to the theme of race and sex with Othello. Othello’s characteristic, personality, and legendary rage can be best summed up with the Greek soldier God of War, Ares. A brave and fearsome warrior with attractive qualities to swoon even purist of characters such as Desdemona. A great person to be Othello, but still indeed has horrendous flaws to be manipulated by Iago’s schemes such as his jealousy and insecurity of being exotic yet eloquent in a foreign culture. We see this during the climactic moment of his suicide as he recalls his service to the state and his self description as a “base Indian” who cast away a pearl worth more than all of his tribe (V.ii.356–357). Othello in the end, is defined as a tragedy, rather than a champion, a charismatic lover, or a fool of Iago’s trickery. Iago
What is there to say about Iago besides the devil himself that he represents so well., Iago is feared by the audience by the depths of depravity and the utter lack of any definable motivation. In the first scene, we find that Iago is angry with Othello when Othello passed him up for the promotion of lieutenant.
He then attempts to justify his contempt for Othello and claims that Othello has slept with his wife Emilia. “It is thought abroad that ’twixt my sheets / He has done my office” (I.iii.369–370). Now jumping towards the end of the story, we discover that Iago is capable of absolutely horrible acts to a fellow human that made the very human error of befriending Iago.
So now back to this first hint of motive as Iego presents his contempt at the loss of a promotion by the hands of Othello and thus the claim for adultery and the victim lies at the injusticed Iego… A fabrication of injustice whose purpose to mythodically evolve Othello’s Ultimate Demise.
Again yet again his motivation of contempt evolves as he now finds Othello’s wife, Desdemona irresistible, and would lust for her to even the score with Othello, “wife for wife” (II.i.286). All of these motives can not be proportioned to the deep seated spite Iego has for Othello, just the measure of his contempt for him.
Through out the play, Iego demonstrates his manipulation with Roderigo, and even somewhat see him as the protagonist as he can be funny and charming as he playfully schemes. But we soon find that Iego is no ordinary charmer as he is capable of taking his anger and revenge out on anyone to befriend Iego at the slightest provocation and enjoys their pain and suffering.
Iego is a coward. In the interactions of Iego and Rodrigo, Iego shows that he is a coward but it is not until he kills his wife Emilia, to cover his own lies do we see his true cowardice.
Iego is literally a homicidal sociopath. When Desdemona’s handkerchief fell lose it was Iego who recognized a tool of opportunity. When Desdemona questioned Iego, Iego new perfectly well how to deflect her interrogations. He is able to lie to Othello about the handerchief and new that Othello would be baited and trust him. He even addresses the audience and accuses them, “And what’s he then that says I play the villain,” and know that it will laugh as though he were a clown (II.iii.310).
Someone to fear and admire, all the while you know to hate, Iego is a schemer and a good one at that. His level of cowardice is matched by his confidence in his words of influence. Brabantio
Brabantio is father to Desdemona and a very wealthy and prominent figure in the community. Brabantio can represent the upper class’s prejudice towards Othello and the theme of Othello’s conflict as an outsider.
Brabantio adores Othello and respects him for his many feats and outstanding military career. He even goes so far as admiring his exotic profile. When Brabonatio finds that Othello has swooned Desdemona he is outraged and stands against the marriage of his daughter and Othello.
Brabantio views his daughter as property and potential business opportunity. When Brabantio learns of Othello and Desdemona’s union he is outraged and seeks to arrest Othello with his entourage gaurds and accuses Othello of using magic to swoon Desdemona.
Brabantio cannot believe his business opportunity diminish in front of him, lost to an outsider and stands with his accusations of Othello. "Judge me the world, if 'tis not gross in sense / That thou hast practised on her with foul charms, / Abused her delicate youth with drugs or minerals / That weaken motion" (1.2.72-75). Desdemona
Desdemona goes through a drastic transformation during the play. In the beginning, Desdemona seems to be a virtuous and adventurous. Daughter of a prominent figure, Desdemona had many a wealthy suitors who would marry Desdemona but was not attracted what they offered, so much so that she "shunned / The wealthy curled darlings of our nation" (1.2.68). Instead of the “wealthy curled darlings” Desdemona is married to Othello, an old outsider. Desdemona is swooned by Othello’s tales of adventure and dangerous encounters of the world and listens with a “greedy ear.” Desdemona seems to be pretty naïve. At one point she asks Emilia if it was possible for a woman to cheat on her husband. This gives us insight on how Desdemona is truly oblivious to Othello’s accusations of adultery. Desdemona truly has difficulty processing Othello’s jealousy and logic, which makes sense because they are lies of Iego, but we can see how her naivity has lead her to be preyed upon by Iego’s schemes and his willingness to take advantage of people. In the end, Desdemona is so beaten down by Othello’s verbal and physical abuse that she seems to be passive of her own demise, even prepares to a certain degree. We see that through all of the characters dilemmas, ambitions, and desires, Desdemona is the true victim of lesser man’s greed and jealousy.