Othello Essay Research Paper Character Analysis of

Othello Essay, Research Paper Character Analysis of Othello In the play Othello, the character of Othello has certain traits which make him seem naive and unsophisticated compared to many other

Othello Essay, Research Paper

Character Analysis of Othello

In the play Othello, the character of Othello has certain traits

which make him seem naive and unsophisticated compared to many other

people. This is why Iago, to get his just rewards uses him as a

scapegoat. Iago told Roderigo, ” O,sir, content you. I follow him

[Othello] to serve my turn upon him “(I, i lines 38-9). Iago is

saying, he only follows Othello to a point, and upon reaching it he

will not follow him any longer. Iago has opened my eyes to see the

real meaning of deceit. No matter what, Iago will try to take

advantage of Othello any time and he will be easily lead to believe

the lies of Iago.

The Moor, as many Venetians call him, is of strong character.

He is very proud and in control of every move throughout the play.

The control is not only of power but of the sense of his being who he

is, a great warrior. In Act I, Othello has a scuffle with Brabantio,

who has come to kill him, but before anything could happen Othello

said, “Hold your hands, both of you of my inclining and the rest.

Were it my cue to fight, I should have known it without a prompter”

(I, ii, lines 80-3). The power shown here is quite astounding.

The nature of Othello”s character is of a dark man. A

dark man, not only because he is black, but also because his whole

person is very mysterious. He is mysterious in that he believes there

is magic brewing everywhere. With this dark side he is also very

outgoing, and not very bright. He isn”t observant and the schemes of

Iago work well on him. Though he doesn”t reflect too much on his

past, except occasional ventures of wars fought, he does let his

emotions run his life.

For all the dangers and encounters he has been involved in, this

man is still naive of the corruptness of other individuals. Othello

has a trusting nature in which he gives it all. He put all his trust

in Iago during times of war and during Othello”s marriage to

Desdemona. This wasn”t very bright of Othello, even if he wasn”t

trusting or more corrupt he still wouldn”t realize Iago was lying.

Everyone considered Iago as honest, and would be out of character for

Othello to believe any different. For example, Othello had told the

Duke, “So please your grace, my ancient; A man he is of honesty

and trust. To his conveyance I assign my wife, With what else

needful your good grace shall think, To be sent after me” (I, iii,

lines 284-8).

The control over any situation is one Othello”s strong

characteristics. Through the whole first act you can picture a man so

much power and natural leadership and when he changes you cannot

believe it. For example, when Lodovico had witnessed Othello hit

Desdemona, he said:

“Is this the noble Moor whom our full Senate

Call all in all sufficient? Is this the nature

Whom passion could not shake? whose solid virtue

The shot of accident nor dart of chance

could neither graze nor pierce” (IV, i, lines 264-8)?

While Iago, being the honest man he is, answers:

“He”s that he is, I may not breathe my censure.

What he might be (if, what he might, he is not)

I would to heaven he were” (IV, i, lines 270-2).

Another place where Shakespeare shows Othello taking control over

a situation is when Cassio and Montano are fighting after Roderigo

antagonized him. These words Othello said are important now, but they

will be more important later when he is alone with Desdemona in their

bedroom. He will say:

“Now, by heaven,

My blood begins my safer guides to rule,

And passion, having my best judgement collied,

Assays to lead the way. If I once stir

Or do but lift this arm, the best of you

Shall sink in my rebuke” (II, iii, lines 203-8).

You must feel sorrow for Othello because with all the power he has and

the endless trust he gives, you try to reach out and show him the


By having his ancient or friend, Honest Iago bring him the

news of his wife”s bad habits. Othello had no alternative but to

believe him. If any man was brought news of this type they would

surely go off the deep end. Iago not only told him but he told him in

a way that it was hard not to believe. He didn”t tell a couple who

have been married for years, and who would know the likes and dislikes

of one another, but he told a newly wed couple. Othello didn”t really

know Desdemona before they were married. Othello said, “She loved me

for the dangers I had passed, and I loved her that she did pity

them”(I,iii, lines 166-7). This man had really fallen in love with

someone whose life was boring and needed adventure.

Othello”s origin also inhibited him from understanding

European women. He did see for himself the deception of Desdemona

toward her father and remembered the words he had said to him:

“Look to her, Moor, if thou has eyes to see:

She has deceived her father, and may thee”

(I, iii, lines 286-7).

When Othello has been given information from Iago in Act III scene

iii, he cannot take any more so he asks Iago to leave in which he

does. Upon returning, Iago continues to enforce his previous

statements and Othello seems not bothered for he replies, “Fear not my

government” (III, iii, 256).

With all this there is no man who can withstand such news like the

news that Iago has given to Othello. Most of the men who are would do

much worse than in the case of Othello. This doesn”t show jealousy,

but when he is alone and has time to contemplate the situation

and has seen the handkerchief in the hands of Cassio, now is when his

blood begins his safer guides to rule.

After realizing Othello had been tricked into believing

the lies of Iago. He couldn”t handle the anguish of knowing he had

murder in jealousy rather for justice. This devastation in Othello”s

character brought the strong warrior back into the scene. Where he

transformed into his own judge, jury, and sentenced himself. He told

the people around him in their letters to write of him not in malice,

then he said:

“Then you must speak of one that loved not wisely but too well”

(V, ii, line 344).

After the speech was done he carried out his sentence, took a knife

and stabbed himself. He then said:

“I kissed thee ere I killed thee. No way but this, Killing myself, to

die upon a kiss” (V, ii, line 359-60).

He then laid down on the bed and died with dignity ( Stauffer 173).

Othello was jealous. He was told his wife was cheating on him and

he thought he was killing for justice. He even said he loved not

wisely but too well. When he did kill it was not very smart of him to

believe another man about something he should know more about. This

play introduced changes in Othello”s character when these changes

evolved there was Iago lurking and waiting for the chance to jump in

and take advantage of Othello. This why my belief of Othello is one of

a man whose character is brought to light of a horrible situation by a

deceitful devil named Iago