The Tragedy of Othello by Shakespeare

Othello is a typical Shakespeare tragic story build around love and its influences on human behavior and social living. Othello is a play that depicts the deep-rooted relationship that exists between love, hate, deceit, jealousy, and revenge. The storyline develops a conflict that eventually leads to a tragedy. Othello is a play that revolves around an intricate web of relationships that end tragically. The story is about the love relationship between Othello, a general in the Venetian Army, and his love for Desdemona. Their relationship sucks in Iago, Othello’s close friend turned foe, and Roderigo, a wealthy man and a close friend of Iago. Othello loves Desdemona, Brabanito’s daughter so much so that he is ready to do anything because for her. He eventually flees with her.

The story of love and hate is creatively intertwined between the characters in the story. Love and hate emerge as the central theme that dominates the main characters and the plot in this play. The characters can depict a dual personality wisely hidden from the public and which eventually emerge as the tragic end to the story. Intrigues, witch-hunting, and deceit are the main characteristics that shape the storyline. Worse, all this happens under carefully choreographed motives to end the lives of close friends under the pretense of blissful love.

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The author depicts love and passion through Othello and his wife Desdemona, while Iago is used to showing hatred and deceit. These characters are connected through their friendship and work, a situation that nourishes the fulfillment of hatred portrayed by Iago. Desdemona, the loved daughter of city nobleman and senator Brabanito,  has gone against the social order to marry Othello, a black soldier serving in the Venetian military. Brabanito loves his daughter so much and is designed to see to it that her daughter is happily wed to a respectable man in society. He is aware that Roderigo, a wealthy man from the city, had asked for Desdemona’s hand in marriage.

Despite his political and social status in society, Brabantia is a racist, and he is suspicious of Othello’s motives towards his daughter, mainly based on color. The involvement of Roderigo and other men seeking to marry Desdemona forces Otello to elope with her to deny the others the chance to marry her. This is a great show of love and passion between two racially different people defying social norms and order to be together.

It so happens that Roderigo loved Desdemonia and had even asked for her hand in marriage through her father, Brabanito, who was a senator. Roderigo is so upset upon learning that Desdemona had eloped with Othello. He is mad at Iago, his friend who has failed to inform him that the love of his life has been taken by another man, a moor, and more so, a black man.

Iago is a close friend of both Roderigo and Othello. He is a self-centered person who is only interested in satisfying his ego more than anything else. He is depicted as a person who is incapable of loving, and he treats his wife Emilia with a lot of contempt. He is a character who seems to be so motivated to hate, to be arrogant, and to be a racist. He resents, serving a black superior, and throughout his service, his deeds are motivated by negative feelings against others.

Iago’s hatred for Othello motivates him to plan to execute a master scheme to destroy Othello and all those who are close to him. His initial plans involve pretending to love the likes of Othello, his wife Desdemona, and to recruit Roderigo in his heinous crafting. His hatred towards Othello is compounded by Othello’s rejection to promote Iago to a higher military position. This rejection is fodder for an already explosive situation hovering in Iago’s mind. He develops so much hatred towards Othello that he is determined, more than anything else to destroy and kill him all of them together.

Iago is a character who understands the emotions and passions that are evoked by true love. He knows exactly what love can drive one into. It is from this deep understanding of love that he intends to use love-related passion against Othello. From his close working relationships with Cassio, Roderigo, and Othello, Ilago initiates an intricate love triangle involving the three men, aiming to use love to bring down all the men ultimately. The lovers in this elaborate affair fluctuate from relationships controlled by overwhelming love to hatred and murder of innocent people. Others transformed and directed their hatred to others, who little understood what was going on.

Othello is genuinely in love with Desdemona. As he tells her, it gives me great contentment and great joy to see you here (Shakespeare, 1168-69). Othello admits to her that he was leading a chaotic life before Desdemonia came into his life. Their love had ignited a lot of hot air as her father was totally against Othello marrying Desdemona. Othello had to flee with Desdemona to prove his love for her. Othello is also at pains to understand what could have led Desdemona to rebel against his father and agree to marry him.  Moreover, he even does not know why she went against her society to marry a black man. However, despite the feelings of insecurity, Othello concludes that Desdemona agreed to marry him because of his courageous encounters in his journeys. As Othello explains to the Duke, “Desdemona loved me because of the dangers that I have encountered in my journeys (Shakespeare, 1157).

Roderigo is not happy that Othello eloped with and married Desdemonia. He is even more upset upon learning that Iago is lying to him that he can bring back Desdemona for him. This creates another angle of hatred between these two formerly close friends. Moreover, Roderigo’s love for Desdemona turned into hatred for every man whom he thought was eyeing Desdemonia.

Iago is an ensign to Othello and is not happy when Othello overlooks him and instead promotes Michael Cassio, an inexperienced Florentine. This incensed Iago further to what he had already been when Othello married Desdemonia, and he vows to destroy him in revenge utterly. Othello trusted Iago so much so that Othello believed Iago was very loyal to him (Elaine Dobbyn, Relationships in Othello,

Desdemona had vowed to ensure Cassio is promoted and this is what Iago used to create a wedge between Otello and his lovely wife. Iago insinuated to Othello that Desdemona was unfaithful. Othello could not stand the thought of any man going with his wife. Because of his trust for Iago, he immediately started planning revenge on his wife- death (Evelyn OConnor, Feb 23, 2014, Othello: From Love to Hate) But despite the hatred that now controlled Othello, Desdemona stayed true to her commitment to Othello and vowed to remain steadfast in her love. Othello went ahead,  planned her murder, and killed her. He became distraught upon realizing what he had done, and he also took his life, rather than stay without her.

Iago’s marriage to Emilia was an unhappy one, and he only found her worth when he was using her. Emilia was determined to make her marriage work, and she loved Iago. However, Iago knew not how to love. When Emilia exposed her husband’s schemes, Iago kills her without hesitation.  Iago’s murder of his wife proved to the world that he was an irresponsible man controlled by hatred and deceit against his very close confidants.

The murders in this play have destroyed right relationships based on true passionate love. Irresponsibility, hatred, and deceit controlled man to the extent of murdering their loved ones. Through Iago, love has lost out to hatred and jealousy. Malice and egos have destroyed strong characters who were thriving in true love.



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