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03-03-2016 08:43:00 +0000
This is an analysis of Williams Shakespeare’s drama, Othello by Omotayo
Ogunkanmi, an active member of this forum. He offered to contribute to the
blog by analysing Othello. Thanks to Omotayo.
The play opens with Roderigo and the villainous Iago, an ensign soldier. Iago
reveals his displeasure at Othello, a powerful
general (called The Moor) in the Venetian army for appointing Michael Cassio
as the lieutenant; a rank which he (Iago) covets so
much. This is against his (Iago’s) expectation as he believes Cassio is only
good at arithmetics while he (Iago) has acquired a wealth of experience in
Similarly, Roderigo is unhappy with The Moor who has won the heart of
Desdemona, a young lady he also wishes to have. However, Desdemona
does not lovehim. He (Roderigo) gives Iago some money to ensure
Desdemona marrieshim as the duo make plans to bring Othello down by all
means. So, Iago has his accomplice in Roderigo!
Their first plan is to report Desdemona’s elopement with Othello to Brabantio,
her father, who doesn’t want their marriage, simply because of colour
differences. Othello is black!
Iago and Roderigo take the news to Brabantio, who doesn’t believe at first. He
is desperate to hurt Othello as he accuses him of seducing his daughter by
witchcraft at the Duke’s court but for the quick affirmation of Desdemona
that their love is natural. Brabantio alleges: “She is abused, stolen from me,
and corrupted/By spells and medicines bought of mountebanks…”
Meanwhile, the Duke sent for the valiant Othello on reports of theTurk’s
invasion in Cyprus. Being the general, he is sent to the battle in Cyprus.
Othello leaves for Cyprus with his wife Desdemona, Michael Cassio, Iago and
Emilia, Desdemona’s attendant and wife of Iago. The war in Cyprus was
averted as a result of the destruction of the Turkish fleet by a wild storm.
Othello throws a party to celebrate the Turks’ withdrawal and his marriage to
Desdemona. While on duty, Iago gets Cassio the lieutenant drunk. Cassio
misbehaves and fights Roderigo and gets suspended by Othello; a scheme
perfected by Iago.
Yet, Iago appears innocent and gets very close to Othello with the aim of
bringing him down. Iago is trusted by Othello and his deceitful appearances
make him quite credible and acceptable to everyone. On many occasions, he
unjustly informs Othello that Cassio is having an affair with Desdemona.
He confirms Iago’s constant rumours of Desdemona’s promiscuity, when one
day, he catches Cassio briskly leaving his wife
while he and Iago walk in. Meanwhile, Iago has earlier arranged the meeting
that Cassio talks to Desdemona to plead to Othello on his
behalf to reinstate him.