Shakespeare’s Othello illustrates the story of one man’s, Othello’s, self-destructive journey through vicious lies and slander surrounding his loved ones. Who is to blame for this? While the play focuses heavily on “Honest” Iago’s devious acts, Brabantio becomes the catalyst by warning Othello about Desdemona: “Look to her Moor, if thou hast eyes to see. / She has deceived her father, and may thee” (I. iii. 294-295).
The events occurring in others scenes in Act I lead Brabantio to speak that mind-morphing line to Othello. Brabantio wakes up abruptly by Roderigo and Iago telling Brabantio that his daughter, Desdemona, marries Moor Othello without Brabantio's blessing. Iago yells, “Even now, now, very now, an old black ram is tupping your white ewe […]” (I.i. 90-91). The harsh wording creatively constructs nefarious imagery in both the audience’s and Brabantio’s minds. Othello’s and Desdemona’s open disregard for Venice’s laws casts both of them as morally corrupt in the eyes of Renaissance society. Like now, rules are not to be broken, but the people of Renaissance dealt with lawbreakers more severely than current society does now. Shakespeare by placing Brabantio in Othello serves as the opinions of the majority during the Renaissance towards Desdemona’s reckless behavior.
Brabantio, with just cause, takes the affairs of Othello and Desdemona to the Duke’s court in order to receive a just trial. Brabantio accuses Othello of witchcraft because Brabantio believes that his pure, fair Desdemona would never betray him on purpose easily:
She is abused, stol’n from me, and corrupted By spells and medicines bought of mountebanks; For nature so preposterously to err, Being not deficient, blind, or lame of sense, Sans witchcraft could not (I.iii. 62-66).
Brabantio feels letdown, not only by the Duke’s blatant disregard for his high rank or case, but from Desdemona’s admittance of marrying Othello freely. In Brabantio’s enraged mind, if Desdemona cannot follow the orders of her father Brabantio, whose main job is to protect her virtue, then Desdemona cannot be faithful to another person if it does not suit her selfish interests. Outraged, Brabantio warns Othello with his famous (perhaps infamous?) line: “Look to her Moor, if thou hast eyes to see. / She has deceived her father, and may thee” (I. iii. 294-295). These lines are Othello’s bone-chilling downfall. With Brabantio’s words constantly playing with Othello’s mind, Othello’s later actions holds great mirth towards Brabantio’s poisonous words of distraction.
Later on, Othello notices the mutual intimacy between his “good” friend Cassio and his “virtuous” wife Desdemona, Brabantio’s warning causes Othello to suspect Cassio and Desdemona of infidelity. Because of Cassio’s drunken idiotic late night brawl, Othello, the General of the Navy, relinquishes Cassio’s distinguished title of lieutenant. Othello glumly utters, “I know, Iago, Thy honesty and love doth mince this...