Foils in Othello

1326 WordsFeb 16, 20146 Pages
The Foils of Othello One of William Shakespeare’s many attributes as a playwright of the late 16th century was his character development. Shakespeare’s seamless use of indirect characterization sets his works apart from the other playwrights and authors of his time. In Othello, the Shakespearian tragedy about the newlywed Othello and Desdemona, Shakespeare uses character foils to emphasize the strengths and weaknesses of the characters. By making inwardly similar characters seem like polar opposites, Shakespeare truly shows how dynamic each of the characters is. Othello, the play's protagonist, is the most dynamic character of them all due to the fact that he is a complete foil of himself by the final act of the play. In the second act…show more content…
Although Iago and Desdemona rarely interact throughout the play there are used to show how evil or good the other is. Desdemona was also a foil to the person she interacted with the most in the play; her husband, Othello. Othello and his newlywed Desdemona become opposites toward the end of the play. The main couple of the play is very different from each other which is easily seen by the audience because of how they interact with one another. Othello was filled with hate for Desdemona because he believed she had cuckolded him, and Desdemona never stopped loving him even though he accused her of things she did not do. Desdemona asks Emilia “That there be women do abuse their husbands In such gross kind?”(4.3) showing how truly innocent she is and when Emilia asks if she would cheat on Othello she is appalled at the idea. Desdemona would never cheat on the husband she works tirelessly to please. In this instance Desdemona does not only prove her innocence, but she also shows that she is virtually incorruptible making her different from her easily corruptible Othello. Iago only had to show Othello a little evidence for him to become corrupted with jealousy. It was not Othello’s fault that he was corruptible, but he was very quick to build hate for his wife, but slow to believe her pleas of innocence. The reason for this is related to the time in which the story
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