Othello has earned the title of being – One of the most remarkable tragedies by Shakespeare.
It is a domestic tragedy of Elizabethan times, in which the character of a higher stature suffers a great downfall due to the Hamartia (defect/flaw), according to Aristotle, present in his character.
Well, this tragedy not only portrays the hamartia, present in the character of Othello (the black Moore of the Venice & the play’s hero) which eventually led to his downfall, but also the racial connotations are very much evident in the play. The play also contains the most celebrated villain of all the Shakespearean plays, i.e, Iago (villainous villains of all the times).
The plot of the play goes like this- Othello, being the black Moore, casts Cassio as his lieutenant instead of Iago, thus leading to the jealousy in the mind of Iago. Iago, in his jealousy and hatred for Othello, contrives a plot of revenge through injecting venom in Othello’s personal life. Othello has eloped with Desdemona, without taking permission from her father, Brabantio.
Thus, Iago, sows the seeds of jealousy in Othello’s mind by giving him false information about the illegitimate affair of Desdemona with Cassio. Now, Othello’s hamartia is his “gullibility”, which leads him to trust the accusations by Iago and ultimately brings about his downfall by killing Desdemona as well as himself.
Thus, the play arises the question of White (Iago) being the new black (maliciousness). And it is actually very sad to witness, that Othello trusts Iago blindly and do not even gives his wife a single chance to defend herself. Another question which arises is of, God being on the side of Iago. It seems like Iago’s every evil step is supported and whatever + however he wants to execute his plans, it happens, without any problems.
When I finished reading this play, I was so disappointed with the portrayal of helpless Desdemona and gullible, mindless Othello, who did not even tried to give Desdemona a chance to defend her innocence.
Anyways, read this play in order to get familiar with the writing style of the Great Shakespeare as well as to read beneath the lines.
You can even watch this play here-
And yes, do not forget to share what you think about the characters and the plot!