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Othello: Characters

Categories: CharacterOthello

Othello is portrayed as a respected Lieutenant in the military. It is thought that he should be strong-minded and strong-willed. However, through the power of words it was shown how a man of such high ranking could be fooled through the slightest touch.

Iago’s plan showed the manipulation and power that he had over Othello’s simply mind. It was Othello’s intense emotions that caused him to believe these words and actions to be true. Othello believed himself to be a leader but yet he let a simple man, manipulate his thoughts.

Through Iago actions and words, Othello began to lose who he was and played into Iago’s plans. “She did deceive her father, marrying you; and when she seemed to shake and fear your looks she lov’d them most” (Act 3, Sc 3, L 208) Iago began to play on Othello’s emotions, ultimately allowing Othello to convince himself that the love that Desdemona has for him is unreal.

In Othello’s mind he was the leader, a lieutenant, strong and direct. However instead of dealing with concerns that he was having over his wife, he chose to wallow in the words of another man and became jealous of something he had no proof of, “O beware my lord of jealousy, it is the green eyed monster.” (Act 3, Sc 1 ,L 168). He allowed himself to become manipulated and fell to his emotions.

Othello could not seem to find his true self because he had all of these pure emotions flowing through his head.

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The fact that someone he called a friend was playing mind games on him to get what he wanted, brought out the true colours of Othello’s nature.

With doubt running through his mind, he could not seem to believe the words that were being told to him. He did not use the skills that had made him a Lieutenant to help him make decisions, instead he became humbled as a man, a husband that felt betrayed and his actions that followed were not those of a strong minded man but those of a weak man.

Othello’s actions spoke louder than his words. His actions had proven to be those of a man driven to madness by his jealousy. He could not contain his inner emotions and that was the very cause of the death of his wife. He acts out in anger and does not think before he does it.

After he is pushed to the edge, in Act 4, Sc 1 Othello immediately hits his wife. He maliciously yelled at her and called her vicious names, such a ” down stumpet” otherwise known as “whore”, that caused him to diminish her value as a woman.

Throughout the play we can see his anger build through time, and he loses control of his emotions. He was on a rampage and could not be tamed, and could not stop until he received his justice. He became power hungry in the fact that he wanted to know everything and control his wife even though his wife was truly faithful.

The man who Othello is at the end of the play is not the Othello that Desdemona married or truly loved. He stated that he put his trust into her and believed her loyalty, but it is portrayed that he loses himself and his sense of loyalty. He was not who he believed he is, after all is said and done, Othello comes to the understanding that what he had done is wrong and yet he cannot justify his actions.

He is put in a place to live the rest of his life without his wife or to end his life. When he chose to kill himself, it is demonstrated that he indeed he was not a strong man, he was not the Lieutenant that he says he was, he was not the good husband he believed himself to be.

How is possible that he can’t control his emotions and actions, but yet he can control his army. Through his actions we can see his mindset and we are able to see how the words and actions of others have an impact on his own actions. Othello cannot seem to find his true self throughout the play, and immediately loses sight of his general purpose, “that’s he that was Othello: here I am :(Act 5 Sc 2, Line 281) Othello states that they are looking for the man that used to be Othello and calls out “here I am”.

He recognized that he is no longer that man that he use to be. Othello believed his actions were wrong but he justified them by stating that it was done out of honour “Why, anything. An honorable murderer, if you will, for naught I did in hate, but all in honour.” (Act 5, Sc 2, Line 291).

Othello believed that he lived an honourable life and will die an honorable death. However it does not appear that way because he was portrayed as a strong black man, as the leader of the army and the man who married the king’s daughter. He was living his life to the best extent, but he didn’t live his life to the best extent. He was giving something so good and pure, that it caused others to be jealous.

Othello could not accept that he had everything he wanted but could not appreciate it. In killing himself, it only provided evidence that he indeed was weak-minded and how weak willed he truly was. Through his actions and words, they were from his true nature and those were his true feeling.

He believed killing himself was for honour and he knew that he had nothing left to live for because his one true love that he had killed was faithful to him to the end. Othello was not the noble man he portrayed himself to be, he was not noble to his wife or marriage.

Instead of believing his wife, he chose to believe others and when faced with the reality and the truth of what actually happened he felt like a fool ” o fool, o fool, o fool” ( Act 5, Sc 2, Line 19) Othello had realized that had made a mistake and recognized the error of his ways. Othello was easily manipulated to believe the actions of his wife. He describes himself of someone who loved too much, but who wasn’t wise about it.

He explained that he was easily made jealous and was tricked and manipulated, “Speak of me as I am. Nothing extenuate, Nor set down aught in malice. Then must you speak , Of one that loved not wisely, but too well.” (Act 5 , Sc 2 Line 338-340) He felt self-pity for the death of his wife and since he was driven by emotion, the only option was to kill himself.

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Othello: Characters. (2019, Dec 05). Retrieved from

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