Othello’s Tragic Fall From grace
Othello is certainly blamed for the death of his wife Desdemona. However, Iago played an enormous role in Othello’s fall from grace. The aim of this essay will consider all the important information and determine where responsibility lies for Othello’s tragic downfall.
The Honorable Othello
Othello’s success at being one of Venice’s most decorated and reputable generals has brought him a much higher status than he could have ever hoped for in any other profession and this in turn allowed him the chance to meet and court Desdemona. But we notice how naive he is, when he says “Iago is most honest”. This shows how gullible and naive Othello is and how this ultimately leads to his downfall.
Othello’s downfall can be blamed on the manipulations of Iago.
Although Iago is called “honest” by almost everyone in the play, he is treacherous, deceitful, and manipulative. This can be seen when Iago shows the audience his intentions when he states that he has no loyalty to Othello: “I follow him to serve my turn upon him.” (Act 1, Scene 1). This shows that Iago has been plotting Othello’s downfall for quite some time. Iago further reveals his plans to the audience and states that Othello “will as tenderly be led by the nose as asses are” in Act 1, Scene 3, indicating his confidence in his ability to control the Othello. We see how Iago started telling Othello lies about Desdemona and Cassio how he thought they were having an affair. He did this by changing the appearance of things and making them look opposite of the actual reality. For example telling Othello that Desdemona gave her handkerchief to Cassio and how they have already slept together. Othello responds to the handkerchief situation saying “farewell tranquil mind farewell content. Farewell! Othello’s occupation is gone” (Act 3 scene 3). This shows us how Othello immediately believed Iago’s lies and now believes everything for him is ruined. It is these manipulations and lies of Iago that reduced the once powerful Othello to a man weakened by his wife’s alleged betrayal Othello was driven to commit murder because of Iago’s actions
Othello is defensively proud of himself and his achievements. The allegations of Desdemona’s affair hurt his pride even more than they inflamed his jealousy; he wants to appear powerful, accomplished, and moral at every possible instance, and when this is almost denied to him, his wounded pride becomes especially powerful to the point of killing his wife Desdemona.
Based on the evidence discussed in this essay, it is clear that Othello undoubtedly played a major role in his downfall by giving in to the jealousy created by Iago. However, it is clear that Iago’s manipulations greatly contributed to the downfall of the once noble Othello.