Iago's Fault In Othello

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Opposing Views on Character Fault in Shakespeare’s Othello In Shakespeare’s Othello, the main characters suffer a tragic demise at the end. While it is clear that somebody is to blame for the unfortunate events, the main culprit behind the tragedy remains unclear. Three different authors, the humanists Baldassare Castiglione, Juan Luis Vives, and the Puritan preacher William Whately would all disagree on which character is to blame. While Castiglione would put Iago at fault for his misogynistic words and actions, Vives would say that Brabantio is the one to blame for his lack of control over his daughter Desdemona, and Whately would argue that Othello could have avoided this whole ordeal through forgiveness. While these different writers…show more content…
Iago shows a little of his lack of care for women when he quotes, “You are pictures out of doors, bells in your parlors, wildcats in your kitchens, saints in your injuries, devils being offended, players in your housewifery, and huswives in your beds” (2.1.111-14). Iago clearly does not have a high opinion of women, and it is because of his low opinion of women that Iago does not feel any guilt in using Desdemona for his gain. Had Iago have had a better opinion of women, he may have not have used Desdemona as a means to an end, which is an action frowned upon in philosophy (Johnson, “Kant’s Moral Philosophy”). Castiglione would put Iago at fault due to him using Desdemona’s own duties as a noble woman against…show more content…
According to Whately, married couples have a “mutual bond of duty” (Whately 276). This “duty” is that married couples owe each other sex so that the other does not go off looking elsewhere for sex (276). If Desdemona was to stay home, then their marriage debt to each other could not be fulfilled. Even if either side commits adultery, according to Whately, that is okay, and he first few times should be given. Whately directly states it when he quoted, “in the case the man or woman have offended once or so... that this offense be b the yoke-fellow passed by for the love of the married couple should be very fervent and abundant” (Whately 276-77). Whately would claim that Othello is at fault because of his lack of love and forgiveness to Desdemona. Desdemona directly asks Othello to let her pray, yet Othello refused. Desdemona bes, “But while I say one prayer” (2.2.88)! However Othello did not want to allow Desdemona compassion and states, “It is too late” before smothering her (5.2.87). Whately would have argued that had Othello have shown compassion towards his wife, he and his wife could have later had this issue resolved, and only Roderigo would have
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