Theme Of Loyalty In Othello

Superior Essays
1. Examine the role of reputation, love, jealousy, or betrayal in the play. Focus on one issue and make an original and well-supported argument

INTRO: In Othello by William Shakespeare, reputation plays a large role in the actions of many characters. Othello is a well respected general in the military, but when he starts to doubt his wife’s fidelity, he is wrought with anger. At first, he does not believe the rumors but when he sees what he thinks is proof he grows furious. He believes people would look down at him and mock him if anyone were to uncover his wife was disloyal. The thought that she was disloyal and had tarnished his name drives him into insanity. Iago similarly hears rumors that his wife had cheated on him. However, he
…show more content…
P1: Both Othello and Iago are distraught at the idea of being cheated on, and decide to get revenge. Iago has heard rumors that Emilia has slept with both Othello and Cassio. However, he does to know if they are true, but he says, “I, for mere suspicion in that kind, / will do as if for surety”(I.iii. 325-326). The mere rumor is enough for Iago to become jealous and angry. He is terrified by the idea that his wife would cheat on him and destroy his honor. As a result, Iago decides to get revenge on the men who insulted his honor. Iago tells Othello that Desdemona, his wife, is cheating on him. Iago warns Othello not to have the very reaction he is hoping Othello has. However, in telling Othello, “Beware, my lord, of jealousy!...what damned minutes tell he o’ver / who dotes, yet doubts- suspects, yet soundly loves,” he is also describing his experience (III.iii.195, 199-200). Othello is …show more content…
In one of Iago’s soliloquies he tells the reader, “It is thought abroad that ‘twixt my sheets/ ‘Has done my office” (I.iii. 430-432). Though this is a mere rumor, Iago takes it as fact. However, instead of being upset at Emilia, he is furious at Othello. This may have to do with the fact that your wife sleeping with a black man is worse than if she were to cheat on you with a white man. Iago also believes that Cassio has slept with Emilia and incorporates Cassio into his plan for revenge, but does not cause Cassio so much misery that he commits suicide. Iago is also angry at Othello because Othello chose a politician to be lieutenant over himself. Iago was made the flag bearer which puts Iago in a much less respected position than he believes he deserves. Iago does not simply want to kill Othello; he wants to cause him as much emotional pain as possible. Iago states that “the thought whereof / doth, like a poisonous mineral, gnaw my inwards, / and nothing can or shall content my soul / till I am evened with him, wife for wife” (2.1. 318-321). Iago has experienced the jealousy of not knowing whether his wife has cheated on him or not because of Othello, and decides that Othello should endure that same pain. He plans to, “Put the moor / at least into a jealousy so strong / that judgement cannot cure”

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    The play Othello was created by William Shakespeare. It is a tale all about jealousy and manipulations made by one of the main characters, Iago. Paulo Coelho, a novelist, once said, “No one can manipulate anyone else. In any relationship, both parties know what they 're doing, even if one of them complains later on that they were used,” meaning that people are aware of every action and every consequence. How humans deal with the manipulations is what will make or break a person.…

    • 1450 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Later in the play Iago accuses Othello of sleeping with his wife, Emilia. Iago then states that he hates Othello and that he must get even, wife for wife; “I hate the Moor, and it is thought abroad, that 'twixt my sheets 'has done my office. I know not if 't be true, But I, for mere suspicion in that kind, Will do as if for surety” (Act 1, scene 3 lines 329-433). This quote shows just the person that Iago is. Even though he knows…

    • 1096 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    One of Iago’s leading motives for his devilish scheme was the idea that he believed Othello had slept with his wife, Emilia. Iago says, “I hate the Moor,/And it is thought abroad that ’twixt my sheets/ He’s done my office. I know not if ’t be true,/But I, for mere suspicion in that kind,/Will do as if for surety.”…

    • 1652 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Macbeth and Othello as Sympathetic Characters In his tragedies Macbeth and Othello, Shakespeare presents two protagonists, Macbeth and Othello, as characters who easily sink to irreversible depths, making both characters significantly unsympathetic. Both protagonists start off as noble warriors, but each faces an antagonist that fertilizes a seed in the protagonist’s mind that results in his moral collapse and ultimately his death. This essay will be juxtaposing the moral decline of both Macbeth and Othello, the factors that contribute to their destruction, and why the anagnorisis that both reach is not adequate enough to make them sympathetic characters, meaning that the reader can relate to them. From the start, both Macbeth and Othello…

    • 1754 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Othello Quote Analysis

    • 664 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Iago always acts as Othello support and abuse him with his honesty words. As his trusty nature, Othello never doubts about Iago's loyalty since he was so helpful and truthful. Not just him but everybody in the play view Iago as an honest man. As such, this gives Iago the opportunity to strike lies, since everything he said was believed to be the truth, Iago said, "Make the Moor thank me, love me, and reward me for making him egregiously an ass and practicing upon his peace and quiet even to madness." (II.1.330-334) This quote shows that Iago uses his honest side as a net for Othello's trust and he will use that trust against Othello himself as revenge on his position and rumors about Othello sleeps with his wife.…

    • 664 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Jealousy In Othello

    • 1124 Words
    • 5 Pages

    William Shakespeare’s “Othello, the Moor of Venice” (reprinted in Greg Johnson and Thomas R. Arp, Perrine’s Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense, 12th ed.) is one of the most well known tragedies across literature. In the famous play, Othello is the Moor that came into the Venetian city as somewhat of an outsider and acquired a high rank so quickly that it bothered many other men at the time. In addition to this, at the start of the play Othello marries Desdemona without her father’s permission and this action angers a number of people. From the beginning of the play, it appears that while most people view Othello with great respect there are a few who are immensely envious and jealous of him. For the duration of the play, it is apparent…

    • 1124 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Greed and jealousy can be effortlessly used to manipulate mankind and the decisions that are made. In Othello “Act V” by William Shakespeare the theme lectures about emotions, and at times, the free will of others that can be morphed to fit the needs of the antagonists. The manipulation of one’s perception can be warped and twisted to compensate for the truth and to suit the needs of the antagonists. William Shakespeare creates a detailed description of the misrepresentation through a characters usage of dialog.…

    • 1090 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Othello’s honourable and honest-nature, integrated with his insecurity of being an outsider, racially and culturally, found him to being easily preyed upon for Iago’s ploy. As previously mentioned several times, Iago portrayed himself as an honest and loyal friend, which he employed against Othello, stating, “The Moor is of a free and open nature,/ That thinks men honest that but seem to be so,/And will tenderly be led by the nose/ As asses are” (1.3.390-393).Just as Othello was so easily deceived because of his open nature, Iago used Othello’s racial insecurity, to enhance his plot of twisting his love for his wife, Desdemona. In other words, Iago used the same tactic Brabantio, Desdemona’s father used when he found out about the secret marriage, as Iago comments, “She did deceive her father, marrying you;/ And what she seem’d to shake and fear your looks/ She lov’d them most” (3.3.208-210). Moreover, despite what it appeared to be, Iago fooled Othello, using his racial insecurity in order to question for him to question his wife’s faithfulness, when in reality, Desdemona would never be unfaithful.…

    • 1007 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Machiavellian villains are notorious for preying upon their victims until they accomplish their goal. In Othello, William Shakespeare uses Iago’s manipulation of Othello as an example of what Machiavellian villains do to their victims. Iago is a classic example of a Machiavellian villain, as he continues to manipulate Othello and turn him against his friends. Ultimately Iago is able to turn him against his wife, at which point Othello turns on himself by committing suicide. As presented in Othello, Machiavellian villains are a far more dangerous foe than someone who uses physical violence because they are able to destroy the lives of multiple people simultaneously and turn their victims against themselves.…

    • 1695 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Othello may be a hero but he gets fooled like a villain. In Othello, Othello is what you would call a "tragic hero. " What I mean by that is he may be seen as something that brings hope and goodness but his challenges and his own jealousy bring him at his fall. One of his many challenges is not something but someone. The one and only manipulative Iago.…

    • 553 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Honor and certainty often play a role when determining someones reputation. In the play Othello written by William Shakespeare, Shakespeare demonstrates the struggles of maintaining and restoring honor and certainty in his main characters. Othello, Desdemona, and Michael Cassio each struggle with maintaining these traits,with most of the issues presented being a misunderstanding. Each character must put in an effort to overcome their individual obstacles or the task of restoring their honor and certainty is bound to fail. Michael Cassio is a well mannered gentleman who at the beginning of the play is Othellos chief Lieutenant.…

    • 624 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Othello In about the year 1604, Shakespeare wrote a tragedy named “The Tragedy of Othello.” This is a story that was based off of Giraldi Cinthio’s “Hecatommithi,” written in 1565. (Shakespeare 2825). In both of these stories, a moor is married to a young woman named Desdemona.…

    • 853 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Curtis Karner Mrs Markovich ENG3U In the play Othello by William Shakespeare the theme of betrayal has an effect on many of the plays characters. Othello and Rodrigo both endure a crippling betrayal at the hands of the sinister Iago. Iago betrays his General Othello by trying to ruin his relationship with Desdemona through a series of devious acts designed to get revenge on Othello for not promoting him to Lieutenant. Iago betrays his friend Rodrigo by using his deep lust for Desdemona against him, he uses Rodrigo’s stubbornness to manipulate and ultimately betray him.…

    • 1119 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Iago’s evil nature In the story of Othello, we meet many astonishing characters, but there seems to be one character that stands out amongst them all; Iago. Iago is William Shakespeare’s most wicked villain throughout the entire play. Shakespeare uses rhetoric of identity early on when introducing Iago by the “I am not what I am” speech (Act 1, scene 1), perhaps foreshadowing his true personality (Sleczkowski). Iago is the whole reason why there is any conflict in Othello.…

    • 2551 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In Othello, Shakespeare introduces two female characters, Desdemona and Emilia to the audience. First, Desdemona is an inspiring character for women. Second, Emilia is most practical example of how women act. Lastly, Desdemona and Emilia are similar to each other. Desdemona is a good example of an inspiring character, while Emilia is a good example of a practical character in many ways.…

    • 508 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays

Related Topics