Beautiful Disaster Shakespearean scholar M. R. Ridley suggests that the theme of Othello centers on the conflict between “reason and instinct. ” There is main reason of why did Iago go to Othello accusing his wife of cheating. And the instinct Othello had to kill his wife Desdemona due to these accusations. Shakespeare has many underlying and reoccurring themes throughout as well. One major theme is that of betrayal and loyalty. During the entire play, every character is either loyal to, or betrays another character.
In the case of Othello, like all other tragedies, it is the passion of the hero hat is the root of all the action of the play that destroys the hero. Iago was the master of manipulation. lagds fearlessness and over-confidence while he manipulates people causes him to make mistakes that lead him to his death. As he carried traits of psychopaths with no remorse, he was obsessive towards other people’s lives, relentless on his actions, bold in his choices, and a genius in his efforts to manipulate and deceive the other characters”particularly Othello.
His unclear motivations derived from the will to play on each team and play them like puppets. It ll began with poor Roderigo who Just wanted to win over the heart of sweet Desdemona and when he noticed his efforts weren’t working, he wanted to “go drown himself. ” Iago disgusted at the thought because he would never “kill myself out of love for some woman I can’t have. ” The indescribable feeling of wanting someone without the want in return will drive some crazy.
In lagds eyes, if Roderigo was foolish enough to do that, than he would be even more susceptible to lagds manipulating ways to think he was actually helping him. IVe rubbed this young pimple until he’s ready to pop, and now he’s angry,” (5. 1 . ). Iago didn’t Just stab people in the back or sabotage anyone. He plots and wisely plants his seeds so he looks like the good guy in the end while using people’s weaknesses against their selves and each other. Iago spends most of his time plotting against Othello and Desdemona. His cleverness and ability to get closer to the other characters while simultaneously bringing them down is genius.
Othello is tempted by the beauty, position, and compassion that Desdemona can give him in marriage. He’s an experienced man who should know that their differences may bring problems but he ignores the possibility of trouble. Their differences, particularly Othello’s race and age linger in his mind causing some uneasiness. He’s tempted to believe that Desdemona is unfaithful when Iago begins his torment. Othello is easily led by lagcfs games that not only caused problems but the death of four people. If Othello used his conscious he could have prevented the tragedy.
The infamous white and red handkerchief repeatedly comes up throughout the play. It was essentially the final straw for Othello that pushed him over the edge with the rumor of his wife’s infidelity. It was a token of love from Othello to Desdemona that had a lot of entimental value. The handkerchief also seems to function as a symbol of Othello’s mysterious past and his exoticness. He tells Desdemona that an Egyptian charmer gave it to his mother and that it would keep his father faithful (3. 4. 9). Such a small jealous mind.
A small misunderstanding can be magnified psychologically into grounds of love or betrayal. Desdemona and Othello’s relationship was a lot like most relationships that happen today. They were very much in love, almost too much in love, with no trust or respect to make it last a lifetime. In marriage, it should be your spouse’s word over anything. Well in Othello’s case it was the opposite. He took the most harmful information that would break any marriage up if it were true and he completely ran with it. It brings us back to the theme of betrayal and loyalty.
From Othello’s point of view do you believe the possible betrayal of your beloved wife or do you go along with the loyalty of your lieutenant that would never do you wrong? Tough choice although in the time of the play it was to be seen that all women were whores and cheating on your husband was common. Desdemona was as faithful as they come. While Iago was busy digging his nose in other people’s love life, his wife Emilia was the one to say: Who wouldn’t cheat on her husband to make him king? I’d risk my soul for that (4. 3. 4). As Desdemona is preparing for bed the night she was killed, she starts singing a song about willow tree.
The song was sung originally by one of Desdemona’s mother’s servants who loved a crazy guy which reflects Desdemona’s own situation. Othello is so wounded by the thought of Desdemona’s betrayal that he’s blinded to everything except his own pain. Once he decides to end his pain by ending her life, nothing Desdemona says or swears by can make him look beyond himself for the truth. In the beginning of the play, Shakespeare establishes the dignity, nobility, and heroism of Othello by making him out to be this fantastic, well rounded guy.
He was a highly respected general of the armies of Venice respected by all those around him. Othello’s elevated status is easy prey for Iago with his insecurities due to his age, his life as a soldier, and being a racial and cultural outsider. According to Professor Stoll, it may be correct when he says that “In no case does Shakespeare represent men as overwhelmed by anything so vague and neutral as social forces,” but he is surely incorrect when he adds, “or as devoured by heir own passions alone. Othello thinks that using denial and disbelief will solve his problems regarding Desdemona. He refuses to believe anything she says in her defense. He won’t believe lagds wife Emilia when she swears Desdemona is faithful; and disbelieves Desdemona’s words of innocence when he first accuses her. He overlooks her devotion and innocence as if she didn’t give up her home, family, and entire life to be with him. In spite of all the evidence