The Character of Othello
As the play progresses, Othello’s character goes through many changes
which happen as a result of him falling victim to Iago’s evil schemes.
At first he is introduced as an army general who is respected for what
he does but still discriminated against for being black.
Othello is a victim to racism throughout the play. He is often
referred to as “the Moor” even by his beloved Desdemona and is also
called by more offensive terms. Iago uses animal imagery in referring
to Othello as an “old black ram”. The use of animal imagery degrades
Othello and use of the word “black” implies that black people were
thought to be as low as animals. Emilia also calls Othello “the
blacker devil” which is certainly a racist term; however, under the
circumstances in which it was used she had fair reason to insult him.
Furthermore, Brabantio throws harsh abusive accusations and
hypocritical insults at Othello. Othello had often been invited to
Brabantio’s house to speak of his experiences on the battle field;
however, when it comes out that Othello has married has married his
daughter Desdemona he accuses Othello of having “practised on her foul
charms” and that he 2hast enchanted her” in order to seduce her into
his “cunning hell”. This may show Othello as a victim to Brabantio,
but Brabantio was once charmed by Othello.
All through the play, Othello falls victim to Iago. For it was due to
Iago that Othello’s mind had become to work the way it had. Othello
was naïve and Iago played on that by using his trusting nature against
him as he was “of a free and open nature that thinks men honest that
they seem to be so and will as tenderly be led by the nose as asses
Additionally, Iago tricks Othello into feeling jealousy. He decides to
put doubt in Othello’s mind with regards to Desdemona and “undo her
credit with the Moor”. He tells Othello to “beware of jealousy” and
“the green eyed monster” and echoes Brabantio’s words of Desdemona
having “deceived her father” and in order to make sure his ‘poison’
has sunk in he repeatedly says that he fears he has upset Othello’s
mood. “I see this hath a little dashed your spirits”, “I ‘faith, I
fear it has” and “My lord I see you’re moved”. In doing so Othello’s
character starts to change for the worse.
Moreover, Iago sins against Desdemona and Cassio by...