Othello: Character Analysis
In Othello, the protagonist Othello as suggested by the title, is presented as naïve and ingenious in comparison to many other characters. For this reason, Iago uses Othello to get his just rewards by using him as a scapegoat. Iago says to Roderigo, “O,sir, content you. I follow him [Othello] to serve my turn upon him“ (I,38-9). Iago plans to take advantage of Othello and knows that it will be so easy for him to believe his lies. However, Othello is of very strong character, and he holds much pride and controls every move in every bit of the play. The control does not just come from power but also from the fact that he is a great warrior. He shows outstanding authority in his fray with Brabantio, who comes with the intention of killing him. “Hold your hands, both of you of my inclining and the rest” (I.2.80-3).
The nature of Othello resembles that of a dark man. Dark not in the sense that he is a black man, which he is but because he has a very mysterious personality. His mystery lies in his belief that magic is brewing ubiquitously. He is very outgoing, but his naivety means he is not very observant, which allows Iago to plot against him successfully. All the dangers he comes across do not bring the corruptness of other individuals to his attention. He trusts Iago during wars and through his marriage to Desdemona. However, Iago is considered honest by every person, and it won’t be in any way ideal for him to feel otherwise.
The first act presents a man with control in Othello with all his power and natural leadership to the extent that it is not easy to believe that when he changes. A good, for instance, is when he hits Desdemona with Lodovico witnessing the incident leading him to wonder, “Is this the noble Moor whom our full Senate Call all in all sufficient? Is this the nature Whom passion could not shake?….(4.1.270-272) .
He is a man that always chooses to see the good in people as he does with Desdemona, who had deceived her father. His father had even warned him of Desdemona, “Look to her, Moor, if thou has eyes to see: She has deceived her father, and may thee” (1.3.286-7). However, jealousy catches up with him after Iago’s news of Desdemona’s betrayal, and he takes an action that he immediately comes to regret.
Shakespeare, William. Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice. Harper & brothers, 1893.