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“Othello” By William Shakespeare Essay

William Shakespeare’s “Othello” I feel is one of the most interesting plays Shakespeare wrote. It’s hard to put down a play because you don’t know what happens next. What I think made this play great was that it has a villain behind the motive, which makes the play more interesting for me. “Othello” takes you on an adventure that makes you aware of whom you can and cannot trust; and who are your true friends. You can’t always believe what you hear.

In the beginning of act one Roderigo (a wealthy Venetian gentleman) and Iago (Villain, Othello’s ancient) tells Brabantio who is Desdemona’s father that his daughter eloped and she’s having sex and she will have the devils children. Othello was accused of tricking Desdemona into marrying him because they sneaked away and eloped. Since Othello is black they assume that Desdemona was tricked since no one at this time would marry a black man. Brabantio takes Othello to the duke to settle the matter. Othello says to the Duke and to the others to send for Desdemona and she herself will tell that she married Othello willingly and by her own choice. When Desdemona arrives she tells all that she loves Othello. Desdemona was attracted to his war stories and his adventures of his world travel.

The love that Desdemona feels for Othello is on the inside not the outside. In return Othello loves Desdemona because she is young and beautiful and he respects her. Now Iago is jealous that Othello chose Cassio (Othello’s Lieutenant and is part of the framework on Desdemona and does not know it and he is the foil of Othello) as his Lieutenant. Iago is also jealous over Othello because he wants his life. He hates Othello but has no reason to so he makes up these problems and manipulates. Roderigo is in love with Desdemona and Iago tells him that he could have her if he sells his land and gives Iago the money and he will buy all these jewels and he will give them to Desmonda. Iago is a manipulator.

In Act two Iago in his crazy mind pretends to believe that Cassio is in love with Desdemona. Iago acts on this and starts manipulating others more. Iago tells Othello that Cassio and Desdemona are in love with each other. Iago wants to turn Othello against Cassio and fire him from his Lieutenant position. This was the night that Othello and Desdemona were celebrating their wedding. When they leave Iago gets Cassio drunk because Iago knows Cassio can’t handle alcohol and will not be aware of his behavior. Then Iago tells Montano (Othello’s predecessor in the government of cypress) Cassio is drunk and tells Roderigo to fight Cassio.

During the fight Cassio hurts Roderigo and Montano because Montano was breaking the fight up. Othello finds out about Cassio’s behavior and takes his Lieutenant’s position away. Cassio is hurt by Othello’s decision, so Iago tell Cassio to talk to Desdemona and she will help get his job back. Iago also tells Roderigo that Cassio was fired. Roderigo now has hope that he will be with Desdemona. Iago tells Emelia (his wife) to make sure Cassio talks to Desdemona. The only reason he wants this is so Othello will see them and he will think Desdemona is unfaithful.

In Act three Cassio is talking with Iago and tells him he made plans to meet with Desdemona. Iago tell him he will help him. Cassio finally meets with Desdemona and she tells him that Othello still loves him very much and she will do all she can to help him get his job back; she will put in a good word for him. From a far Iago is with Othello; he planned it that way so Othello would see Desdemona and Cassio together. Iago begins to brain wash Othello into believing Desdemona is unfaithful to him. Othello is vulnerable to Iago’s insinuation because he doesn’t believe Iago would lie to him. Othello considers Iago to be a true friend because they had fought in wars together. Another reason Othello questions Desdemona’s loyalty was because she was able to deceive her father who she loved very much so she could easily deceive him. When Othello sees Desdemona after this he is still in shock and tells her that he has a headache and needs to lay down.

Desdemona while talking to Othello drops her handkerchief (her first gift from Othello; it was his mothers). Emilia finds the handkerchief and gives it to Iago. Iago in his sneaky way knows he can use this to manipulate the situation. Iago plants it in Cassio’s home so Cassio will find it (he does not know it’s Desdemona’s). Othello does not yet believe that Desdemona is unfaithful and Othello wants proof from Iago. Iago tells Othello that he saw Cassio with Desdemona’s handkerchief Othello then makes Iago his Lieutenant and wants Cassio killed which is Iago’s responsibility and Othello would take care of Desdemona. Desdemona now is looking for her handkerchief and mentions it to Emilia; Emilia denies ever seeing it. Othello asks Desdemona for the handkerchief and she tells him it is not lost; she has just misplaced it. Desdemona begins to ask Othello about Cassio and he yells at her and sends her away. Desdemona runs into Cassio and explains to him that her helping him get his job back isn’t going well. Also Cassio found the handkerchief in his house and gives it to his mistress Bianca.

In Act four Iago is still his usual manipulating self. He is still manipulating Othello by telling him Desdemona is unfaithful to him and fooling around with Cassio. What hurts Othello most is that the handkerchief is missing and Iago tells him she gave it to Cassio. Iago starts talking to Cassio and asking him things about his mistress. Now from the other side Othello is watching and he thinks that Cassio is telling Iago about him and Desdemona; then Cassio’s mistress shows up and throws the handkerchief at Cassio and fights with him. Iago then makes Othello believe that he must kill Desdemona because what she has done and he will kill Cassio. Othello meets with Emilia and asks her if Desdemona is unfaithful to him by fooling around with Cassio. Emilia explains that nothing is happening between them and their relationship is strictly platonic. Othello finally confronts Desdemona in the bedroom with Emilia by her side helping her get ready for bed as they talk about the situation. At this point Desdemona’s depressed.

Act five starts out on the street with Iago and Roderigo. Iago is telling Roderigo how to kill Cassio. Iago at this point is nervous because Roderigo keeps asking about the money he gave Iago that he was supposed to give to Desdemona. Cassio comes by and Roderigo starts to attack Cassio but Cassio stabs him first, then Iago stabs Cassio from behind. Iago then stabs Roderigo one more time and kills him to make it seem as if he was protecting Cassio. Bianca comes to attend Cassio and Iago point’s fingers at her trying to make it seem she is guilty so no one is suspicious of him. The next scene takes place in Othello and Desdemona’s room. Desdemona is still asleep and Othello kisses her. She awakes and Othello asks her if she has prayed, so when she dies her soul will go to heaven. Desdemona is still confused on what wrong she has done.

Othello confesses that he knows she gave Cassio her handkerchief, which means she has been sleeping with him. Desdemona tells Othello she is innocent and to call for Cassio and he will tell the truth, that nothing happened between them. Othello tells her Cassio is dead and he confessed as he died. Othello and Desdemona go on arguing and Desdemona tries to make Othello believe that she has always loved him and been faithful to him. Othello looks at her and then kills her. Emilia comes in and Othello tells her he has killed Desdemona and in Desdemona’s last breath she says she did it to herself making Othello look innocent. Emilia tells Othello that she found the handkerchief and gave it to Iago. Iago is now seen as guilty and kills his wife by stabbing her. Iago leaves and runs but is captured and comes back with Cassio and Lodovico. Othello then stabs Iago. Lodovico now finds out that Iago and Othello tried to have Cassio killed and were behind it. Cassio explains he found the handkerchief; Iago confesses that he planted it in his room. Othello ultimately kills himself over the grief he feels.

The true identity of who your friends are may surprise you. “Othello” is proof that greed and true bitterness can cause more damage then originally intended. Othello is a weak character that is easily convinced of wrong doings that never happened. His mind set on believing his friend over his wife is his ultimate downfall. The human mind is fickle and Shakespeare makes this the common theme throughout the play.


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