Othello Summary Essay

Othello is a tragic story about Othello, the Moor, who married Desdemona in what seemed to be a happy marriage. Othello’s friend Iago wants Othello to become so consumed with jealousy that Othello will kill Desdemona, allowing Iago to get Othello out of the way so Othello’s position as the Moor of Venice can be Othello’s.

Iago is Othello’s longtime friend and ensign. Othello trusts Iago with many important matters of the Venetian state; however, Othello later begins to fear that he may not trust Iago enough. Othello has become very close to Cassio, an officer under him in military matters who has often outperformed Othello’s job performance–something that makes Othella increasingly jealous of Cassio. When Othello hears a conversation between Cassio and Othello’s ensign, Iago, Othello begins to think that Desdemona is having an affair with Cassio. Othello has Iago plant Desdemona’s handkerchief (a gift from Otehlla) in Cassio’s room; Otehlla later accuses Desdemona of adultery without proof. Othello kills both his wife and her attendant, Emilia.

Iago has convinced Othello that Desdemona is cheating on him with Othello’s lieutenant, Cassio. And now it’s up to Iago to make sure Othello executes the plan. To make things even easier for him, Othello has decided to promote Cassio, which will further Othello’s jealousy. Othello tells Iago that he is going to tell Desdemona of the promotion once Othello has even more proof; Otehlla then gives Otehlla ‘s handkerchief (which Ohella gave Otehlla as a gift) to Iago and instructs him to give it back to Desdemona after Desdemona and Cassio have been together, suggesting an affair between them.

Othello is a tense, closely-knit play, with an ever-increasing emotional scene. The character Iago, Othello’s ancient, is the cause of all the tragedy which comes to pass as the play progresses. He is a manipulator, opposing Othello not directly, but through other characters whom he tricks. From his actions throughout the play one sees that Iago was gifted at using other people, to further his own schemes. *Act One, Scene One is the most important because it foreshadows the whole drama.

Iago gives the reader warning that he is not all that he seems when he says, “I am not what I am” (I,i). I ago’s main target is Othello, but he gets Othello to suspect his wife of being unfaithful. Iago’s carefully planned schemes lead Othello to suspect Desdemona and Cassio of having an affair. In the end Othello murders all those he cares for due to Iago’s manipulation as a result Othello then kills himself as well as Desdemona. Iago has been Othello’s confidant since they were young men in Venice, during Othello’s days as a mercenary soldier under the service of the republic of Venice.

As a trusted friend, Othello often speaks very candidly about his life with Iago – even when Othello ought to be far more careful. Othello discloses information about his marriage, Desdemona’s love for him and his own feelings of vulnerability when it comes to her. When Othello speaks in this manner he does not realize the danger involved with Iago, who is Othello’s greatest foe. Othello feels that Iago is too close of a friend and would never hurt him therefore Othello does not think twice before speaking.

Through Othello’s relationships with other characters we see how heavily influenced he is by others and how easily manipulated he can be by those around him; most notably Iago provokes him into acts of violence against Cassio and Desdemona. Othello is a character whose main flaw is his quick temper. Othello provokes Iago to anger by telling him he has been neglecting his duties when in reality Othello was just concerned for Iago’s well-being. Othello feels that Iago would never harm him because Othello sees the good in everyone which makes him oblivious to the danger of people like Iago who can hide their true face from others.

In Othello’s eyes it is impossible for someone as loyal and caring as himself to be fooled or used by another person, but in truth Othello fails to realize this because he does not see the true nature of other characters who do not have his best interests at heart. Othello is also persuaded by Iago to believe that Cassio has been cheating on Othello’s wife, Desdemona. Othello makes the unfortunate choice of believing Iago when he is presented with “proof. ” Othello becomes obsessed with thoughts about Cassio and Desdemona even though Othello knows deep down that they are all false in his mind.

Othello is in a constant state of torment over what he thinks might be happening between his wife and one of his subordinates. Othello lacks the ability to realize that most often people are just doing their own thing instead of scheming or plotting against others. Othello plays into Iago’s hands throughout the play, being easily deceived by his “friend” Iago. Othello trusts people that he shouldn’t and is too quick to jump into action instead of thinking things through slowly.

Othello’s tragic flaw is his temper because it gets him into situations where harm follows as well as Othello’s inability to see the true nature of others especially Iago. Othello is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1603 or 1604, which deals with an adulterous love triangle between Othello, a Moorish general living in Venice; his wife Desdemona who is a Venetian lady; and Cassio from the same army camp under Othello’s command. The play begins with Othello dismissing Cassio from the army, but Othello then promotes Cassio to be his new lieutenant.

Othello is deceived into thinking that Desdemona is having an affair with Cassio, Othello’s supposed best friend so Othello plans to murder all those he loves including Desdemona and Cassio. Desdemona is Othello’s wife who becomes a victim of circumstance because Othello accuses her of being unfaithful. Othello accuses Desdemona of infidelity after Iago tells him lies about Desdemona and Cassio’s relationship. Because Othello trusts Iago more than anyone else, Othello believes everything that is said about Desdemona and Cassio.

Othello does not know that Iago is trying to destroy Othello’s life by ruining Othello’s marriage with Desdemona, Othello’s career in the Venetian army, and Othello’s friendship with Cassio. Othello does not realize what sort of evil Iago truly is until it is too late for Othello to do anything about it. Othello feels guilty about hurting others including Cassio; he feels guilty about suspecting his wife of adultery; and Othello feels guilty because he commits murder against innocent people so these feelings cause Othello to have a mental breakdown at the end of the play when he realizes what Othello has done.

Othello, Desdemona, and Cassio all die in the end because Othello kills them in a fit of madness when Othello realizes that he fell for Iago’s lies and Othello must pay the price for his mistakes. Othello is one of Shakespeare’s plays during the English Renaissance theater era that was written to be performed at a theater or on a stage so Othello does not have any props or costumes except clothing items which were used to differentiate Othello from other characters.

Othello is set in Venice, Italy so there are Venetian settings such as balconies, an outdoor quay with ships moored along it, and a seaport town. Othello focuses on the theme of innocence being destroyed by evil so Othello portrays Othello as an innocent individual, Othello’s wife Desdemona who is described as an angel, and Othello’s best friend Cassio who Othello trusts more than anyone else in Venice.

Iago is a villainous character in Othello because he has no regard for human life and Iago commits many crimes such as manipulation and betrayal during Othello. Iago tries to destroy Othello by telling him lies about Desdemona and Cassio; Iago tries to ruin Othello’s marriage with Desdemona by deceiving both Othello and Desdemona; Iago manipulates Othello into thinking that Othello’s wife is having an affair with Cassio so Othello will suspect Desdemona of adultery and Othello will kill Desdemona out of rage.

Iago betrays Othello by telling Othello’s enemy Brabantio that Othello has slept with his daughter Desdemona because Brabantio wants Othello dead after finding out about the affair between Othello and his daughter. Iago tries to ruin Cassio’s life for no apparent reason other than the fact that he hates him. Iago succeeds in destroying Cassio’s career in the Venetian army because Othello dismisses Cassio from Othello’s employment.

Othello does not know that Iago is the reason behind Othello getting rid of Cassio so Othello believes Iago when Othello says that it was Othello’s wife Desdemona who convinced Othello to get rid of Cassio. Othello is a tragedy because all of the major characters in Othello die by the end of the play. The main character Othello commits suicide after realizing what he has done, Desdemona dies when she is smothered by a pillow on her husband’s orders, and Cassio has been mortally wounded with a sword through his leg during a fight.

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