Othello Character: Discuss the character of Othello in the play Othello, the Moor
Of all the heroes that the pen of Shakespeare has brought into this world, probably, Othello is the most humble as to its social standing and parentage; however, he is a lively and exemplary character that carries a strong masculine touch. He is a Moor; a black man. He does not have many friends. His profession appears to be his only passion. Othello is a brave soldier. He has proved his valor and currently holds a strong position in the armed forces of Denmark. He is a general. People regard him for his position and bravery. He is swift of action, a characteristic desired by soldiers. He is right in his claim: I must be found. My parts, my title, and my perfect soul shall manifest me rightly.
Othello is a black man, the only black man in the town among white people. He is a stranger who has earned repute and honor in this land. Regardless of what people think of Othello, it is interesting to note that he is very confident despite his humble origin. He leads the forces in the battle. Though literally he is a stranger in the town, but on a parallel level he is a stranger unto himself as well. He is unable to understand himself as well as his love, his beloved wife. He commits the murder of a faithful wife that had nothing for him but love. Where, where should Othello go is what he may exclaim like a lost man.
Like his eminent success in the military matters, he earns fame for his love as well. He is a passionate lover. He falls in love with an aristocratic lady, Desdemona, the daughter of a senator. Othello, very beautifully, reveals the inner condition of his love to Desdemona when he has a chance to meet her: “If it were now to die, 'Twere now to be most happy. They are in such a passionate love that they marry secretly. When summoned by the father of Desdemona, Othello appears before him courageously but humbly. Though the two lovers are a contrast to each other yet they are the best fit of love, an eternal couple. Unfortunately, the contrast also becomes the reason of their demise as well.
Despite being a strong man, Othello has a weaker side to his character. He is exploited for this weakness by his ensign, Iago. He feeds the moor on misinformation regarding his wife which the man of character is willing to listen to. Iago makes him believe that his sincere and true wife is unfaithful to him. Othello utters out “O, devil, devil! If that the Earth could teem with woman's tears, Each drop she falls would prove a crocodile. This is the turning point in the life of Othello where he has gone astray by not believing in himself and his love.
Perhaps Othello is subject to inferiority complex. He is insecure in his social life. Though the playwright does not hint at this aspect of the character of the protagonist; however, it gets highlighted when he has married a beautiful white lady. Having got suspicious of his wife, he is at the height of insecurity. He develops a belief that since he is a black, therefore, his wife may get interested in some other person. This is after the incident of handkerchief when Othello's insecurity surpasses his love. He plans to kill his wife for her unfaithfulness: It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul. She must die, else she'll betray more men. Alack! He is unfortunate not to see his own fault; just his swiftness and hurry of doing things
"Doubtlessly, The Moor is of a free and open nature:
That thinks men honest but that seem to be so,
And will as tenderly be led by th' nose
As asses area"
is a statement which is ironically proven true when the Moor really gets himself entangled in jealousy! This is because he finds his wife giving attention to her ex-suitor. The flames of jealousy are ignited by Iago and extremes are reached by his own intriguing mind. He is never alive to the true state of things. He creates a world in seclusion of the social realities of life. In short he fails to adjust to the social life.
There is a feeling of sadness to see such wonderful person's demise for a trifle as often splashed by the likes of Iago. A wonderful man is lost to his own intriguing mind and jealousy fueled well by circumstances and unfair assistance by Iago. He falls from his stature and kills his wife. But soon enough he is up with reality. This is the height of pity for that unfortunate man. The brave man decides to commit suicide for this is the only way he may find escape. He dies saying “'tis happiness to die”. This makes him a tragic hero because he kills his wife in misunderstanding of facts and incidents. However, he does not act wisely. Nor does he discuss with his wife. His hurry begets him death.