Shakespeare wrote four great tragedies that include hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear and Othello. The four tragedies formed a pillar of the aspect that critics understood as the apex of the dramatic art of Shakespeare. Among the four tragedies, Othello presents a unique tragedy. Othello sets in a private world and focuses on personal lives and passions of its main characters. Othello features a swift descent into jealousy and rage with Lago`s display of villainy that fascinates readers. This paper looks at whether the downfall of Othello resulted from the flaw in his nature or the downfall resulted from the works of Lago.
In the Othello tragedy play, we encounter a perfect and loving relationship between Othello and Desdemona. However, at the end of the play the relationship that the two shared had ended as the strong emotions of jealousy drove Othello to kill his wife and then himself, after he realized that he had done an unjustifiable act.
In the play of Othello, Lago plays an important role to cause the downfall of Othello. Lago planted the seeds of jealousy and anger on Othello that resulted to his demise. However, the downfall of Othello resulted from the flaw of his nature. Lago played a catalyst role in the downfall of Othello, but the actual cause of the downfall of Othello resulted from his own misdoings (Naikar 129).
First, Othello never took a chance to investigate matters and know whether what he heard had any truth. He instead chose to believe the lies and deceptions that Lago told him. Despite the fact that Lago and Othello seemed to have a perfect friend relationship, Lago wanted to revenge against Cassio and Othello because he failed to get the post of left lieutenant. Othello had a weak character that made him prone to jealousy and anger that made him obsessed. Othello acted from the advice of other people instead of investigating the information that he had heard.
The feeling of insecurity that Othello had about his belonging to the Venetian society made him feel like an outsider. He felt that because of an outsider status that he had, the relationship that he had with his wife could break at any moment. The heritage that Othello had, his age and color made him self-conscious and contributed to his insecurity. He worked hard to prove his equality with the white people. Lago having learnt that Othello had some sense of insecurity, he took the chance to make him concerned about the loyalty of his wife, to him. This makes Othello doubt himself in relation to the reason for Desdemona loving him for her purity and beauty yet Othello was dark and evil.
The grave mistake that Othello made involved his lack of communication with his wife Desdemona. Many times Othello failed to address his suspicion of disloyalty between his wife and Cassio, directly. He never asked his wife directly whether she had anything that went on between Cassio and her. He never asked Cassio of the same. Because of his failure to communicate with either of the two, he failed to understand the plan that Lago had. Even when Othello had believed that Desdemona had cheated on him, he still did not communicate with her about it. Instead, he decided to act out of his jealousy and anger (Bradley 118).
Othello lets his jealousy and anger surpass his thinking. Because he felt jealous that his wife had betrayed him with Cassio, Othello decided to kill his wife instead of finding the truth. The jealousy that he had made him angry, for he could not understand why his wife could cheat on him, with Cassio. Othello shouted cursing and insulting his wife all the while, but she could not understand why Othello did that.
Despite the fact that Othello and Lago had a good friendship, he trusted everything that Lago told. This made him ignore other people around him, including his wife. Othello did not give his wife a chance to explain her side of the story and find out whether Lago had told him the truth. Instead, he chose his blind trust towards Lago, as opposed, to his relationship with his wife.
Othello seemed not to understand love and its meaning. He thought that his wife had no right to associate and become friends with any other man because she had married him. His desperation prevented him from reasoning. Othello may have had fear of confronting his wife, for he may have thought that by so doing, his wife would have left him for Cassio.
The downfall that Othello faced resulted from his misjudgment of Lago. Othello thinks that Lago has a devoted character that he can trust. This makes Othello not to question how Lago depicts Cassio because he thought that Lago’s loyalty to Cassio made him tell the story to make Cassio appear upright. The trust that Othello put on Lago blinded him not to see that Lago plotted the whole act, to revenge. This leads to his downfall (Bradley 117).
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Despite the fact that Lago played a role in the downfall of Othello, the character traits of Othello resulted to his demise. Lago only took advantage of the insecurity that Othello had, with regard to his relationship with his wife. Lago wanted to revenge, and he manipulated Othello towards his downfall. The characters that Othello displayed led to his own downfall. His jealousy, anger, insecurity, lack of communication and blind trust on Lago led to his downfall.