Shakespeare’s Othello Character Discussion Katie Olszewski
Othello is a playwright by William Shakespeare. In Othello, a black man named Othello has married the daughter of a Venetian government official, Desdemona. After their marriage Othello is sent to Cyprus to battle the Turks. Fortunately for, the Turks were drowned at sea and no battle took place. Iago was Othello’s flag carrier and thought that his rank should be higher. So Iago plotted to ruin Othello’s life and it started with getting Othello’s lieutenant Cassio fired after a fight started by Iago. Iago was promoted to lieutenant and began to persuade Othello that his wife Desdemona was having an affair with Cassio, the recently fired lieutenant. Iago convinced Othello that this was true. Iago even planted evidence that drove Othello so mad that he ended up killing Desdemona right before he killed himself from grief and a guilty conscience. During the play, Othello exhibits very strong character traits even before the lying began to thwart his mind. Othello at first was very powerful and passionate but his ability to trust interfered as his character developed his naiveitivity allowed him to become insanely jealous.
Othello throughout the play was a very strong character. As the story develops he uses his power in different ways. At the beginning of the play there is a fight between Brabantio and Othello where Brabantio accuses Othello of stealing Desdemona with black magic. Othello is so powerful all he has to do is tell Brabantio not to kill him and Brabantio stops in his tracks.
"Hold your hands, both of you of my inclining and the rest.
Were it my cue to fight, I should have known it without a prompter"
(I, ii, lines 80-3).
Not only does Othello have power over Desdemona’s father but he also has power over the army. Othello was chosen to fight the Turks, the Duke says to him
“Valiant Othello, we must straight employ you
Against the general enemy Ottoman—“(I, iii, lines 50-51)
Othello has shown much power over people. He held great power over the army in the eyes of the Duke and he had much power over his wife Desdemona. Othello while powerful was also jealous which drove his actions and changed him into a mad man.
While Othello was powerful he was also passionate. Othello is very passionate of everything he does, whether it is a good passion or a bad one. At the end of the play in scene 5, Othello is telling the men around him how to pass on his story. He says,
"Then you must speak of one that loved not wisely but too well" (V, ii, line 344).
This line goes to show how much Othello loved. He wanted to make sure everyone knew how much he loves Desdemona. He may have been blinded by jealously but he never stopped loving her. His passion rang through his character even after he had killed Desdemona and learned that Iago has lied about his wife cheating on him. He says
"I kissed thee ere I killed thee. No way but this, Killing myself, to die upon a kiss" (V, ii, line 359-60).
Othello passionately loved his wife Desdemona. Even after he had murdered her his love rang through as passionate as ever.
Othello portrays many strong characteristics throughout the play, one of those is trust. Othello’s ability to trust Iago is what caused his demise in the end. Iago is the perfect villain; he gained the trust of Othello and convinced him of his wife’s affair with Cassio. Iago says this to Othello after Othello fired Cassio IAGO
Ha! I like not that.
What dost thou say?
Nothing, my lord: or if--I know not what.
Was not that Cassio parted from my wife?
Cassio, my lord! No, sure, I cannot think it,
That he would steal away so guilty-like,
Seeing you coming.
I do believe 'twas he. (3.3.1)
As soon as Iago says...
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