Identity In Othello

1321 Words6 Pages
In Othello, Othello is a character that is seen as an outsider from the very beginning, where he is referred to as the “moor” in the society by the citizens of Venice, where he is already set apart from the rest of the citizens. Othello’s identity is presented by different factors that balance each other out, with occasions where one dominates the other, causing him to lose sight of his own identity.

Shakespeare presents the crisis of identity first by contrasting Othello’s trust of Iago and his trust of Desdemona. Right after being married to Desdemona, to convince Brabantio of his love for his daughter, Othello proclaims “My life upon her faith” (1.3.293), proving that he had the utmost trust in Desdemona, believing she would never lie
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Near the midpoint of Act 3 Scene 3, Othello begins his soliloquy, a speech Othello addresses to himself that allows the audience to view the inner workings of his mind, and states that “for I am black/declined into the vale of years” (3.3.261-264). This shows Othello begins to realize the different upbringing he had compared to Desdemona and that he is not educated enough to fit well into her world. Furthermore, he acknowledges the difference of ages between himself and Desdemona as reasons she might have cheated on him, showing that Othello feels he does not deserve Desdemona, emphasizing his insecurities which make him vulnerable to external factors affecting him more than they should, leading him to go against his original character of strength and rationality, thus presenting the crisis of identity. Furthermore, Othello hints to us that Desdemona only chose him for his looks “For she had eyes, and chose me” (3.3.188), objectifying himself to make excuses of why Desdemona chose him, making it easier for her to cheat on him as it was her choice in marrying him. This makes the audience take pity on Othello to see how little self-confidence he has, making up excuses to console himself on why Desdemona left him. Thus presenting the crisis of…show more content…
Othello is described as “Valiant Othello” (1.3.49) by the Duke before he even notices Brabantio, highlighting the respect that the Duke grants Othello as a necessary military fixture at the battle of Cyrus. “Opinion, a more sovereign mistress of effects, throws a more safer voice on you” (1.3.224-226), said by the Duke in convincing Othello to head to Cyprus to defend it. This further emphasizes the high regard the Duke has of Othello, convinced that Othello is a great leader who is needed at the heart of the battle. However, as Othello begins to believe that Desdemona cheated on him, the divide between military general and a husband to Desdemona start dissolve as Othello is seen to be speaking of Desdemona as a soldier on the field “Yet she must die, else she'll betray more men. Put out the light, and then put out the light: If I quench thee, thou flaming minister, I can again thy former light restore” (5.2.6-9), showing how confused Othello has become to refer to his wife in most unloving ways when he used to speak about her in the most highest regards “His unkindness may taint my life/But never taint my love” (4.2.159-160). Showing how the lines between his public life and personal life has blurred, causing the audience to know how much Othello has
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