Othello Review

Othello Review

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Othello is a complex story about friendships, jealousy, and revenge. The evolution of characters in William Shakespeare’s story consists of a mixture of objectives and personal desires. Othello, an intelligent, triumphant man, makes a name for himself in the Venetian army. His character comes from a tough background but displays a strong, assured attitude in all military affairs. However, his past left him socially insecure. Iago, optimistic for his own success, turns into an eager, deceitful character quickly. Their vast difference in priorities significantly changes the outcome of the story. Shakespeare ensures readers recognize the ethical prejudice, emotional tensions, and dramatic irony used to alter the conclusion. Character differences in Othello show us the true tension between love and trust between lovers and “friends.” 

Othello’s past of racial insecurity transcends far past his young life. His different appearance and personality causes him to stand out from others. Insecurity lies in more aspects of his life besides race. He struggles with uncertainty throughout his entire life. Iago capitalizes on his insecurities, and slowly destroys him. Othello’s value of love and his wife, Desdemona, allows Iago to play with his head and lead him to believe something that is very outlandish. Readers recognize Othello’s background, and see his uncertainty in his relationship. He believes he is not worthy of her. In my opinion, knowing my own insecurities makes it much easier to feel worthless and unattractive. Ultimately, this clouded idea allowed me to destroy one of the relationships I valued most. A person’s own judgment can destroy them quicker than an enemy. Iago used this concept to get revenge on Othello. Cassio, his closest friend, became the easiest target for Iago. Again, Othello’s manipulated trust led him to not only trust Iago’s words, but accept it. 

Shakespeare commonly uses emotional tension in his works. Othello is not an exception. Othello may love his wife, but trust takes longer to form than attraction. Love is both timeless and destructive for the pair. Othello knows he loves his wife and that it might be too good to be true. Iago plays on this idea and lets Othello unfold the tale at his own pace. His jealousy and inexperience point fingers towards betrayal. After making his decision, he never ceases to turn his back on it. Iago’s idea of early betrayal from Othello causes him to continually build on others’ destruction. He plays every character and uses their trust against them. Friends mean nothing to him. They act as tools in his shed of revenge. Iago reminds me of Dan Scott, the antagonist in the television show One Tree Hill. To get what you want, one must destroy many things including his loved ones. Iago kills his wife to get what he wants while facing accusation. 

Iago makes quick use of his counterpart’s blind trust. Every character including Othello believes Iago is an honest and admirable guy. Shakespeare is quick to keep the truth unbeknownst to all but the audience. Iago insults Desdemona’s father and herself separately in spite of his outward likeness of their relationship. In Act 2 scene 1, he displays his cynical view for women and their actions. He also mentions his disdain for her father because he spoke against Othello. Here, we see the real manipulative behavior hidden from the other characters. The use of dramatic irony in this story is similar to Romeo & Juliet, another Shakespeare classic. Romeo knows not of Juliet’s fate, and decides to seal his own based on what he believes. However, the audience knows the real truth. Instances like this drive interest, shock, and ultimately change the interpretation for some. This forms the story and promotes altercation between characters. 

The different perspectives in Othello not only altered the story, but the fate for many characters. Iago specifically ruined the people around him and himself to get his revenge. This shows his desire for control, and how power can ruin a man. The fortune of Othello relies on what Iago wants and desires. Their interactions are based on distrust, and Othello continues to believe him in addition to his own self doubt. Conflict in this story not only shaped the end of lives, but my own opinion of others in respect to power. The importance of self-awareness and self-love is stressed, but one can quickly be destroyed by their own thoughts and feelings.

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