The Comment That Brought Forth the War

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Shakespeare’s Othello illustrates the story of one man’s, Othello’s, self-destructive journey through vicious lies and slander surrounding his loved ones. Who is to blame for this? While the play focuses heavily on “Honest” Iago’s devious acts, Brabantio becomes the catalyst by warning Othello about Desdemona: “Look to her Moor, if thou hast eyes to see. / She has deceived her father, and may thee” (I. iii. 294-295).

The events occurring in others scenes in Act I lead Brabantio to speak that mind-morphing line to Othello. Brabantio wakes up abruptly by Roderigo and Iago telling Brabantio that his daughter, Desdemona, marries Moor Othello without Brabantio's blessing. Iago yells, “Even now, now, very now, an old black ram is tupping your white ewe […]” (I.i. 90-91). The harsh wording creatively constructs nefarious imagery in both the audience’s and Brabantio’s minds. Othello’s and Desdemona’s open disregard for Venice’s laws casts both of them as morally corrupt in the eyes of Renaissance society. Like now, rules are not to be broken, but the people of Renaissance dealt with lawbreakers more severely than current society does now. Shakespeare by placing Brabantio in Othello serves as the opinions of the majority during the Renaissance towards Desdemona’s reckless behavior.

Brabantio, with just cause, takes the affairs of Othello and Desdemona to the Duke’s court in order to receive a just trial. Brabantio accuses Othello of witchcraft because Brabantio believes that his pure, fair Desdemona would never betray him on purpose easily:

She is abused, stol’n from me, and corrupted By spells and medicines bought of mountebanks; For nature so preposterously to err, Being not deficient, blind, or lame of sense, ...

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...ry in an unorthodox fashion. If it were not for Brabantio’s negative outburst Othello’s small mind acquires no seeds of doubt towards his beloved wife Desdemona, and Shakespeare’s Othello premise ceases to exist.

Works Cited

"Explain This Quote from Othello: Look to Her, Moor, If Thou Hast Eyes to See: ? She Has Decieved Her Father and May Thee ??? - Othello - Questions & Answers." ENotes - Literature Study Guides, Lesson Plans, and More. Web. 23 Oct. 2011. .

"No Fear Shakespeare: Othello." No Fear Shakespeare: Shakespeare's Plays plus a Modern Translation You Can Understand. Web. 30 Oct. 2011. .

Shakespeare, William, and Kim F. Hall. Othello, the Moor of Venice: Texts and Contexts. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2007. Print.
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