The Tragic Flaws of Othello

The Tragic Flaws of Othello

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Trust is a powerful emotion and can easily be manipulated. In Shakespeare's Tragedy Othello the Moor of Venice the character Iago uses trust as his sword. Othello is so easily duped by Iago because of his carefully built reputation of being honest. Iago studies each character and he knows each weakness. "What should I do? I confess it is my shame to be so fond; but it is not in my virtue to amend it". (847) This was words from Rodrigo to Iago letting Iago know his feelings toward Desmona and giving Iago a tool to use it against him.

Trusting people is a risk. Human beings are notoriosly forgetful, unreliable, and imperfect. Most of us come from backgrounds where betrayal and insensitivity among friends were common occurences. People are not always trustworthy, yet we must trust them. How do we do that, given the evidence of our past? First, we remind ourselves that we as human being are not perfect and secondly, we don't have to trust everyone but we have to trust someone. Each character trust Iago and each in their own way. Iago has stated his honesty many times during this era. "O, you are well tun'd now! But I'll set down the pegs that make this music, as honest as I am". (855)

The problem with Othello is he does not trust his wife but he places all of his trust in Iago. "Thy honesty and love doth mince this matter, making it light to Cassio. Casio I love thee; but never more be officer of mine". (863) He does not see the deception because of the many mask Iago wears. Iago is crafty, smart and witty and with these attributes comes a dangerous man with a dangerous game. Othello, on the other hand, is noble and honest but his jealousy and insecurities is the dominating factor that caused him to not trust his wife.

Othello's priorities are out of order. How can he trust and honor a man over his wife? When the two were married these were the very two things he promised to do for his wife . It appears he doesn't want his marriage saved because his taste of vengeance is all too obvious.

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"O, that the slave had forty thousand lives! One is too poor, too weak for my revenge...". "O, blood, blood, blood"! (880) Iago gets pleasure out of destroying everyones life around him especially the love of Othello and Desmona.

Desmona, on the other hand, is so pure, innocent and naieve. She exibits all the qualities of a faithful woman and loves Othello more than he thinks. But Iago has poisioned his thoughts of his wife and has him believing otherwise.
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