Shakespeare’s character, Othello, was certainly a believable character. Although he was a man who was a leader, of high military/social standing, he was still just a man. Perhaps when one holds such a high standing within a community or nation, their followers/admirers tend to forget that they are, just as we all are, only human. Othello’s mistake was that he unknowingly allowed himself to be influenced by Iago. Manipulation is a very powerful tool, especially if used by someone who has taken the time to study the human mind. With manipulation comes distrust, doubt, insecurity, and perhaps even fear. Othello was manipulated beyond his ability to recognize what Iago’s ‘plan’ was. His love for Desdemona, jealousy and insecurities most likely clouded his ability to percieve what was really going on and as a result he not only committed the tragic sin of murdering his true love, but also committed the ultimate sin of self-destruction.
Although the saga of Othello was written long ago, the similarities of its misadventures are very similar to those of today’s society. How many of us have been truly duped by someone that we have put our complete faith and trust in? How like the people of today to be fueled by jealousy and rage their normally crystal clear outlook could turn to complete and utter despairingly gray? What would it take to turn the complete love and devotion of a husband into a murderous stranger toward the one person that he has pledged to love for all of eternity? How sad that Iago’s extreme jealously could target and destroy something as pure and beautiful as the love Othello had for Desdemona. It is quiet tragic that such jealousy could destroy such a great and powerful military leader.
It seemed for as much as Othello loved his wife, she was in fact his Achilles’ heel. I cannot imagine the sickening horror that Desdemona felt when she realized that there was no defending herself from the tiny, poisonous seed planted by Iago. There was no defense in the eyes of Othello as his wife paid the ultimate price. I wonder how many relationships today have fallen victim to tragedy because of a well-placed comment of doubt or shadow on one’s character. In today’s extreme number of murder and divorce, I think that Othello and his terrible story are quite believable.