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Causes of Othello's Downfall Essay

  • Submitted by: stellang1
  • on August 18, 2015
  • Category: Shakespeare
  • Length: 1,127 words

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Below is an essay on "Causes of Othello's Downfall" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

The play Othello, by William Shakespeare, whose setting is initially in Venice and later takes place in Cyprus, narrates the tragedy of a well-known, admired Moor named Othello who caused his own downfall with the help of the seemingly honest Iago and took his own life after realizing his wrongdoings. As previously implied, the antagonist by the name of Iago, possesses a passionate desire to have revenge on Othello for giving the rank of lieutenancy to Cassio, a handsome-looking man who had no experience on the battlefield, when Iago feels that he deserved that position. Cunning Iago who appears to have a positive reputation then devises a plan with the help of his unsophisticated “sponsor,” Roderigo, to not only cause Cassio to lose his status but to delude all characters into believing that he only speaks truths and thus triggered many characters’ deaths, even himself. This tragic resolution enforces the central idea that judging one based on one’s reputation and past is not a wise thing to do, and what led the protagonist or the hero, Othello, to his defeat by Iago, was his flawed personality traits, despite his impeccability as shown in his past.
One of the traits that led Othello to his demise was his insecurity of his own self. His origin and race played an important role in his continuous uncertainty because he was made to believe by the poisonous Iago that his wife Desdemona is an unusual woman to love a black man when it was against the social norm in that era, especially after Brabantio, Desdemona’s protective father who died of the grief and heartbreak that Desdemona gave him from marrying the Moor, warned Othello, “Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see: She has deceived her father, and may thee” (Act I, Scene iii, Lines 293-294). If Desdemona can betray her father to be with an inferior person, Othello can conclude that she can do this to just about anyone else. Seeing that his skin color and his many differences make him an outsider, and strange...

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