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In the dying minutes of William Shakespeare’s play Othello, the main character Othello requests of Lodovico, a Venetian messenger, “When you shall these unlucky deeds relate, Speak of me as I am.” But what is he, exactly? One of the most celebrated roles in history of the theater, Othello is a complicated and mysterious character. At various times in the course of the play we despise him, we pity him and we praise him. As a young slave he doggedly worked his way through the ranks and eventually arrives with the grand title of general of the Venetian army having used only his own skill. The full title of the play, Othello, the Moor of Venice, suggests that Othello is an outsider, which is a very important theme of Shakespeare’s. The culture of Venice is learned, and therefore not instinctual to him. Othello has a beneficial quality to him; a quality that he uses time and time again. He uses his foreign and exotic nature to his advantage. Othello’s mystique and masculinity captivates his young Venetian wife Desdemona and sets him apart from her other uninteresting Venetian suitors, and Othello’s stories about the dangerous and exciting outside world and warfare provide marvelous entertainment and wonderment for her. After Brabantio, the father of Desdemona and a powerful senator, learns about the marriage of his daughter and Othello, he is outraged and accuses him of “looting” his daughter. For he sees her as property and doesn’t account for her free will and desire to marry the middle aged Othello, different in race and class. In the courtroom Othello gives a speech, “What conjuration and what mighty magic, for such proceeding I am charged withal, I won his daughter”. (Act i Scene iii) Othello denies the use of witchcraft or ma... ... middle of paper ... ...ct i Scene iii) Othello denies the use of witchcraft or magic to woo Desdemona but insists that it was rather his stories, that enchant her similar to that of the collection of Arabian folk tales featured in One Thousand and One Nights, and his unique qualities that draw her in. Although many arguments could take place over the blame of Othello’s fate, the one murderer no one doubts is jealousy. Although Othello’s insecurities and “blindness” along with one of the most duplicitous villains in all of literature definitely catalyze the deaths at the conclusion of the play, in the end Othello must suffer the consequences manipulated or not. Despite the number of uninteresting characters in the play, Othello, the Moor of Venice contains one of the most intricate characters in any of Shakespeare’s plays, and will be discussed and intensely argued forever.

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