The Tragic Gullibility In William Shakespeare's Othello

1260 Words 6 Pages
Every person has flaws; certain imperfections that make us human. Once we are conscious of these flaws, they can no longer be used to our detriment. But, if we are ignorant, these flaws can be manipulated by malicious enemies who wish to destroy us. William Shakespeare’s Othello is a testament to our vulnerabilities as humans. Othello is a virtuous military hero, who turns into a weak, revengeful murderer at the hands of his trusted, but evil ensign. Othello’s gullibility, crippling insecurity and heightened jealousy overcome his virtuosity. Ultimately, Othello’s downfall is a result of these same tragic flaws that he fails to recognize and stop Iago from exploiting.
Othello’s gullibility is one of his fatal flaws, and contributes to his
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Although, Othello shares a common religion and sense of patriotism with those around him, he is visibly different due to his skin colour. He is one of the only black men in Venice and Desdemona is a beautiful white girl with many suitors. He’s constantly reminded of this insecurity throughout the play and begins to feel unworthy of Desdemona’s affections. Being referred to as a “blacker devil” by Emilia “an old black ram”, and a “Barbary horse” by Iago, only amplify his already crippling insecurity and make him more even more self-concious. As a result, the idea of Desdemona wanting someone else, someone easier on the eyes, does not seem completely out of reason. Othello’s insecurities are too close to the surface, and all it takes is a few words from Iago to tear apart his confident exterior and release the madness within. It is easy for Iago to manipulate Othello because he already believes that Desdemona’s love for him is too good to be true. By wearing his insecurities on his sleeve, he lets Iago take advantage of him, and this is why he is responsible for his own …show more content…
This jealousy stems from his inability to put reason over emotion, resulting in his passions ruling his actions. As the play progresses, the audience has no choice but to watch in sympathetic horror. He is manipulated and twisted by Iago’s lies, forcing him to face emotions that consume him. The image of Desdemona and Cassio making love in his bed, fuel his jealousy and ultimately drive him mad. He becomes so enraged with the women he loves that he strikes her in public and calls her a “devil.” As the play progresses, his rage continues to grow until he states that “she must die, else she’ll betray more men.” Later in that same scene, he smothers his wife to death. In reality, the only evidence Othello has of his wife’s infidelity is a handkerchief placed by Iago in Cassio’s house and the words of an ensign he believes he can trust. His ability for reason and logic become hostage to rage and resentment and the darker aspects of Othello’s nature take over. If he had not been so enraged, he would have been able to piece through the accusations of infidelity and realize Iago was deceiving him. If his passions did not trump his perspicacity, he would have recognized the strong bonds of love between him and Desdemona. His jealousy is driving him to madness, yet he never stops to contemplate why Iago is defaming Desdemona or the broader framework of the accusation. Othello consumed by jealousy, loses his sensibility

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