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Othello's Flaws Essay

1538 words - 6 pages

Making mistakes are part of everyday life. Whether it is turning down the wrong road while driving or choosing the wrong answer on a test, humans will not be perfect. But there are situations where decisions affect significant consequences on life that can determine life and death. Failure is not always a harmful outcome. Michael Jordan once said, “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed”. Failure is a flaw that can cause other events to occur because of it. These events could be either beneficial or detrimental. The story of Othello is a clear example of this fact. In this story, Othello continuously is guided into traps by Iago and fails to escape them. There are ways he can avoid them but Othello’s flaws keep him from escaping the traps. Othello’s flaws are part of his character and cause him to the decide the wrong way to handle a conflict. As a result of Othello’s flaws, he, Desdemona and Emilia die an unnecessary and cruel deaths; if Othello would have made minor adjustments in those events, the story would have ended in “they lived happily ever after.”
The first mistake Othello made, was trusting Iago and demoting Cassio. Cassio was a trusted and well-respected Lieutenant under Othello’s command. Cassio is attending, “the celebration of [Othello’s] nuptial.”(2.2.7) While they are celebrating the wedding, Iago offers Cassio a, “stoup of wine”.(2.3.27) We are even shown Cassio’s gentle nature and self control, when he responds, “I have drunk but one cup tonight, and that was a craftily qualified too; and behold what innovation it makes here. I am unfortunate in the infirmity and dare not task my weakness with anymore.”(2.3.35-38) He announces even that he does not want to drink because of his alcohol tolerance. Then Iago presents his plan as a thought; “If I can fasten but one cup upon him / . . . He will be as full of quarrel and offense / . . . Am I to put our Cassio in some action (2.3.44-56). Iago’s chaotic plan is now in motion after Cassio agrees to drink.
We see Cassio’s gentle nature earlier in the act, but Cassio is clearly acting out of nature due to the alcohol and engages in fight with Roderigo. Iago earlier asks Roderigo, “. . . find some occasion to anger / Cassio, either by speaking too loud, or tainting his /discipline” (2.2.264-266). Othello arrives after the altercation and examines the situation. He asks Montano, “Worthy Montano, / . . . What’s the matter” (2.3.184-187) to which he replies, “Your officer, Iago, can inform you” (2.3.192). Iago cleverly deceives Othello by not telling him that Iago actually told Roderigo to get into a fight. As a result Othello believes Iago and fires Cassio from being his officer.
It is obvious that Cassio has been Othello’s officer and friend for a long time. Earlier in the book Othello is even overjoyed when Cassio and other officers come to deliver a message from Cyprus and he calls Cassio one of his “friends”...

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