Cassio—There is a balance to Cassio that eludes Othello. Cassio is the first to navigate through the tempest at sea and arrive at Cyprus. He is the first to demonstrate an appreciation for and healthy view of marital love, that both Othello and Desdemona avoid demonstrating while in Venice. Cassio is not flawless, however. His affair with Bianca plays a part in Othello’s fall by allowing Iago an opportunity to dupe the Moor. Not blameless in the tragedy, he is still a beacon of hope and a decent man aside from his shortcomings.

Indeed, it is to Cassio that authority is given after Othello is shown to be an incompetent commander. Upon realizing that Cassio is innocent of cuckoldry, Othello asks his pardon and Cassio appears to give it, holding no ill will towards his general. He is wounded still, but not in danger of death. His wounds reflect the degree to which he himself has been culpable in the downfall of Othello—even though he has only contributed indirectly and unwittingly. Everyone’s faults touch everyone else: No action is victimless in Othello. Every thought, word, and deed has repercussions—for hovering nearby is Iago, ever ready to twist both virtues and his vices to fit his own end. That Cassio lives through the experience ought to be taken as a testimony to his character and balance.

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Essays About Othello