The Tragic Downfall Of Iago In Shakespeare's Othello

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A “tragic flaw” represents a shortcoming or defect in a character that ultimately leads to the destruction and downfall of themselves or those around them (Anand, 76). In an instant, a character can be taken from their peak to their lowest low. A character can also possess a flaw in which another may exploit and manipulate; such is the case in Shakespeare’s Othello. In Othello, the primary villain and character who drives the plot forward due to his skillful and ingenuous manipulation is Iago, who tears apart the marriage of Othello and his wife Desdemona. Iago, however, is simply a catalyst for their marriage to turn sour. In spite of Desdemona’s devotion and loving demeanor toward her husband, Othello’s faults shine through and ultimately …show more content…
Othello allows himself to be poisoned and muddled by Iago’s fallacious words (Anand, 77). When Iago spins his lies of Desdemona’s adulterous actions with Cassio, Othello decides instead of consulting Desdemona or Cassio directly, he allows time for Iago to show him evidence of Desdemona’s unfaithfulness. This time allotted to Iago is time for him to conspire against Othello. As such, Othello’s “tragic flaw” lies in his inability to properly communicate with others. His and Desdemona’s death was a result of Othello’s own vulnerability, not necessarily Iago’s ingenuity (Christofides, 6). An additional contributing factor to Othello’s tragic downfall is highlighted in placing all his trust in Iago, because he does not have enough confidence in himself (Anand, 77). Othello is convinced of Desdemona’s acts of adultery before even confronting her—this only proves that he may not have been fully confident of Desdemona’s devotion or love, and deludes himself to believe Iago’s …show more content…
Othello’s many shortcomings, from his insecurities, personality, and pride, were the ultimate reasons for his and Desdemona’s downfall; Iago simply accelerated the process. Othello’s vulnerability to those around him—from pressures of being a black man in a white society, to his all-trusting naiveté in a man who despised him, to his clouded judgment and rash behaviour with his final confrontation of Desdemona; drove him to the brink of insanity and was the cause of his death. Othello represents the incompatibility of marriage that comes with some due to the complete fault of one

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