Essay on Othello Chose His Fate

794 Words 4 Pages
The play "Othello the Moor of Venice," is one of Shakespeare's great tragedies. That being so, for every tragedy, there is the tragic hero- a man that is, at bottom, truly honorable and good, but plagued by a flaw that causes his fateful undoing. The question then arises whether there is sufficient evidence to all-together condemn Othello as a malevolent and innately evil man, or such evidence that he was simply deceived by Iago's treachery and should be excused for his actions. Yet, as the play unfolds, it is clear that no such solid line can be drawn. That is, we are given evidence that rather suggests that Othello's dynamic role as the tragic hero manipulates the very virtue of his greatness to his demise. It is Othello's passion, the …show more content…
Desdemona's own account provides further evidence of Othello's innocence. She recounts: "My heart's subdued even to the very quality of my lord. I saw Othello's visage in his mind, and to his honors and his valiant parts did I my soul and fortunes consecrate" (I.III.251-255). Another of Othello's qualities, one that makes him susceptible to Iago's trickery, is that of his naivety. Iago recognizes this saying: "The Moor is of a free and open nature that thinks men honest" (I.III.399-400). It is upon this quality that Iago begins to play Othello.

At the onset of the play, Iago is presented as a cunning snake in the grass, the antagonist of the play, and a catalyst that sets Othello into a downward spiral of jealousy, suspicion, rage, and violence- respectively. Angered that Othello appointed Cassio, and not himself as lieutenant, Iago seeks vengeance. An evil and truly deceitful man, Iago's hatred of Othello is masked behind false rhetoric and manipulation, but vividly clear to the audience. While it seems to nearly everyone that Iago is Othello's loyal servant, Iago only serves his own agenda: "I follow him to serve my turn upon him. We cannot all be masters, nor all masters cannot be truly followed" (I.I.42-44). Thus Iago begins to spin his web of deceit, using anyone that he so chooses as his pawn. Most instrumental in
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