1- Othello is the main focus of the play. He is basically a second class citizen who is talked about through the names of “the Moor”, “thick-lips”, and “old black ram”. Although he is one of the main characters of the play; including the title, he does not appear until the second scene in Act one. Even then, we do not hear his name “Othello” until the third scene. He is an outsider in Venice, but is a great soldier and leader and valuable to the state. He is so valuable to the state that he is trusted by the Venetian government with full martial and political command of Cyprus. He tells the duke about how he is in love with Desdemona and how he would do anything for her even if her father questions him every year. The duke likes him so much because of his charisma that he approved of the marriage. Not only that the people of Venice calls him an outsider, but sometimes he even calls himself one. Othello is the victim of the whole play and is the tragic figure in Iago’s plot.
Iago is the main villain of this Shakespearean play. He may be terrible, but he is the most fascinating. He has a lack of convincing motivation for his actions; meaning, he probably does things without thinking them through. From the beginning, Iago is fuming with anger and jealousy over Othello because he passed him for the position of lieutenant. His lack of motivation makes him terrifying because he will take revenge on anyone; this being Othello in the play. He enjoys all the damage and pain he causes and seems to not have any regret what so ever. He is not only a villain but an entertainer. He entertains spectators and we see a side of him that most people will love. He also has a general hate for women. He uses this in his plot against Othello by blaming Desdemona of being unfaithful.
Desdemona is also a victim of the play, but only a casualty. She was not the main victim and Iago was not really focusing on her. He was just using her to get his revenge on Othello. Desdemona is a well-rounded figure. She is also a stereotypical woman of her time. She is also a submissive character and takes the blame for her own murder. The tragedy is that Desdemona knew of her impending death. She was with Emilia, Iago’s wife, when we, the audience, knew that she knew about her own death. She sang a song about a willow tree proving so.
Othello has a racist theme to it but this is not what the play is focused on. Othello is most definitely a foreigner to Venice and this may have caused the spark of anger in Iago. I agree with the critics that to a certain extent, the play is a little racists. Some examples are the names that are given to Othello; “the Moor”, “old black sheep”, and “thick-lips”. Other examples is the looks and talks about Othello. Even Othello himself agrees he is not of this culture and land.
Othello was so popular that it was not only performed on stage, but was also filmed. The most famous one is the Kenneth Branagh production. In a movie, visual effects like CG...