Othello

“Othello” is a play, better said a tragedy, in which the main theme it Othello’s jealousy and revenge and the main motives are racism, love, jealousy, betrayal and fraud in the main conflict between Othello and Cassio. The plot is settled in Cyprus between 1489 and 1570.

The objective narrator is in the third person. The play has 5 acts and the main characters are: Othello, Cassio, Desdemona, Emilia, Iago, Bianca…

The play relies on the novel “Story of Othello” that was drawn from the novel book “Ecatommiti” from a famous Italian writer Gimabattista Giraldi Cinzi. From many angels the play is considered to be a tragedy of innocence and intelligence.

We come to a conclusion that Othello wasn’t credulous enough not to kill Desdemona and that she wasn’t naïve enough not to get herself hurt too much and that Iago was not like a devil with revenge always on him mind.

Book Summary

Othello was an admired general of a big and powerful Doge of Venice’s military. Everyone knew him for his strength and determination. He was appreciated for being a goodhearted man that was loved between him superiors and inferiors.

Because of his popularity Othello often causes envy in some people. His courage and fearlessness attract senator Brabantio’s daughter Desdemona that got secretly married to Othello.

The plot begins on the street of Venice with a fight between Roderigo, a rich man, and Iaga. Roderigo paid Iaga to help him in a trial for Desdemona but Roderigo found out she got married to Othello. Iaga served Othello but dispraised him. The two of them go to the senator’s house to tell him his daughter is not home and that she is with her lover Othello.

Barbantio looked for his daughter and Iago told Othello how he heard Roderigo saying bad things about him to the senator and then comes Cassio, Othello’s assistant and lets him know that the Doge needs him on Cyprus because a war against the Turks has started.

Othello runs over to the doge where he meets the senator who accuses him of stealing his daughter. In that moment Desdemona arrives and explains to her father that she married Othello voluntarily. She told him Othello seduced her with his stories and that she wants to go to Cyprus with him. They leave the very same night.

The senator warned Othello to take care of his daughter and Roderigo wants to kill himself because of Desdemona but Iago stops him. He suggests him to leave for Cyprus to win Desdemona’s love.

A victory against the Turks was celebrated on Cyprus. Othello came back last because the storm was slowing him down. Everybody praised Othelloas a hero except for Iago who told Roderigo that he thinks Desemona won’t love Othello for long. Iago thinks that Othello was with Cassio’s wife so he decides to get his revenge.

The messenger announces that it’s time for a celebration on the island. Iago gets Cassio drunk and leaves him to keep guard. Roderigo came and insulted Cassio, according to plan. Cassio beats him up and a big alarm goes on in the city. Othello came and after he saw what had happened he replaced Cassio as his assistant. Cassio felt sorry for his actions. Iago sucked up to him and gets him to try and ask Desdemona for forgiveness. It was all just Iago’s plan.

Cassio asked Desdemona for forgiveness and when Othello came he ran away. Desdemona asked Othelloto forgive Cassio and Iago makes Othello suspect his wife’s loyalty. Desdemona accidentally drops the handkerchief that was Othello’s present and a sign of his love. Iago came for it and uses it to make Othello even more suspicious of Desdemona. Othello waited for a real sign of infidelity. The two of them agreed to kill the lovers.

Othello asked Desdemona for her handkerchief and when she didn’t know where it was he just stormed out. Desdemona told everything to Emilia and complained about Othello’s jealousy lately. Bianca wanted to know where Cassio was the last few days but he just told her to keep quiet. Iago had a plan to reveal Cassio’s secrets. He asked him whether he still loved Bianca and he said no. When Bianca heard that she threw a handkerchief into his face and when Othello saw it he got furious.

He wanted to kill De4sdemona who claimed she only loved Cassio in a friendly way. Othello slapped her and told her to wait for him in bed. The whole thing ends with Iago convincing Roderigo to attack Cassio in front of Bianca’s house which leads to Roderigo’s death and Cassio’s injuries. Othello, furious and jealous, strangled Desdemona whose father had also died. Emilia told Othello about Iago’s fraud but he refuses to believe her and stabs her with a sword. In the end Iago’s letter for Roderigo are found and the truth comes out. Othello kills himself.

At the end of the fifth act Othello and Desdemona are on the bed dead. Iago is keeping guard and he was later sentenced because of his lies, frauds and scams that caused Othello to get jealous, kill his wife and in the end kill himself because he found out he was defrauded.

Characters: Othello, Desdemona, Iago

Characters Analysis

Othello – proud, brave, noble. He was so naïve he became the victim in the end and even though it seems he was a violent killer he turns out to be the only victim in the whole story. He was happy about life like a little child, told interesting stories filled with joy. His personality made Desdemona fall in love with him and marry him. From a brave soldier he became his wife’s murderer because he was extremely jealous and had a sense of inferiority. He doubted that she could love him truly and he considered himself just an ordinary soldier.

Desdemona – the main female character. She was beautiful, noble and rich. She lived in a fantasy world when she met Othello and she was seduced by his personality. She confronted her father and lusted for an exciting life, battle and courage and she found it all in Othello. They were bound by a great love that gave her strength to marry Othello secretly. Their honest and true love was destroyed by human evilness.

Iago – awful man who enjoyed seeing other people suffering and in pain. He thought their pain to be his reign over the victim and he fed his sick ego with it. If he couldn’t conquer someone he was ready to use all means necessary to destroy them. He was envious because of Othello and decided to ruin him. He was a hypocrite who pretended to be Othello’s best friend when in reality he was scheming behind his back. He wanted to hide his flaws by destroying others. Even though he was sentenced it doesn’t change the consequences of his actions.

William Shakespeare biography