William Shakespeare's “othello”

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William Shakespeare's “Othello”


In William Shakespeare's play Othello, jealousy and deception are both central themes that play an important role in contributing to the fatal consequences that occur in this tragedy. The entire play revolves around the idea of being jealous of others and being deceived by those that are close to you. There are many critical interpretations regarding just how widely the themes of jealousy and deception are explored throughout the characters in the play, and my personal interpretation of the statement has lead me to agree with it (Adamson, pp 23-199).

In my opinion, jealousy and deception is not only confined to Othello, it is present in other characters aswell. Othello's characteristics may make him more inclined to be jealous and deceived because of his insecurities, and gullible and trusting nature which is seen by many as a weakness, and it is this belief in deception, which later leads to an evil jealousy that results in dreadful consequences. However, there are other characters in the play who also display jealousy and deception. I will be exploring the characteristics of not only Othello, but the characteristics of the other characters in the play who also display these emotions.


Othello is a noble black Moor held in high regard by Venice for his service as a military general. However, he makes a deadly enemy in his ensign Iago after he promotes Michael Cassio, not Iago, to the position of personal lieutenant. To gain revenge, Iago secretly attempts to break up the new marriage of Othello and his lovely wife Desdemona by having Desdemona's former suitor Roderigo inflame Desdemona's father, Senator Brabantio, against Othello as a sorcerer who used witchcraft to woo his daughter.

In the Venetian Senate, which is discussing a Turkish threat against Cyprus, the duke exonerates Othello of wrongdoing and dispatches him to Cyprus to defend it and become the new governor (Vaughan, pp 121-190). Unaware that Iago was behind Brabantio's earlier protests against his marriage, Othello orders Iago to accompany his wife to Cyprus, and Roderigo goes along at the urging of Iago, who tells him that Desdemona will eventually tire of Othello. Once in Cyprus, Iago manipulates Roderigo and his own wife Emilia into helping him to discredit Cassio and make Desdemona appear unfaithful. His plan works. Othello tells Iago he plans to poison Desdemona, but Iago persuades him to kill her in the bed she ''contaminated.'' As for Cassio, Iago says, ''Let me be his undertaker.'' Believing Iago has killed Cassio, the Moor returns to his castle for the awful task of executing his wife. Othello, still loving his wife, kisses her awake, asks her to prepare her soul for death and after an exchange of accusations and denials smothers her in her bed. When Emilia tells Othello the truth about the scheming Iago, the wounded Cassio backs up Emilia's story. Othello wounds Iago, then kills himself. Iago kills Emilia. After Iago is led away in chains, Cassio becomes governor of Cyprus (Snyder, pp ...
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