Othello is portaryed as a black man at a
time in Elizabethan society when other
races were not accepted.
Black people especially where associated with evil, the devil as well as magic, as can be seen in Othello
This allows for Othello's insecurity
on which Iago is able to build his
Othello's race makes him work harder at
being excepted accepted by society and at
This can explain why he is overcome with jealousy and anger when he believes Des cheated on him because of his race.
"Beware, my lord of jealousy, it is the green eyed monster.." Iago Act 3.3
The play is propelled by feelings
of intense jealousy. All the
actions and events that unfold
are as a result of jealousy.
Iago is jealous of Cassio's promotion and Othello's success in society despite his race.
Othello becomes jealous because of his belief that Des. is having an affair.
Roderigo is jealous that Des. chose Othello over him.
"I am not what I am" Iago Act 1.1
Othello is deceived by Iago into
distrusting the honor of his wife
and friend Cassio while believing
that Iago is the honorable one
"The fellow's of exceeding honesty" Othello about I. Act3.3
Iago also deceives Roderigo of his
help and simple uses him for
"Thus do I make my fool my purse." Act1.3
In Othello, love is a force that overcomes
large obstacles and is tripped up by small
ones. It is eternal and yet derail-able.
Love provides Othello with intensity but not direction and gives Des. access to his heart but not his mind.
Othello finds that love in marriage needs time to build trust, and his enemy works too quickly for him to take that time. The immediate attraction between the couple works on passion, and Des. builds on that passion a steadfast devotion whose speed and strength Othello cannot equal.
Friendship & Love
Iago is often falsely professes love in friendship for Roderigo and Cassio and betrays them both. For Iago, love is leverage.
Des's love in friendship for Cassio is real but is misinterpretated by the jealous Othello as adulterous love.
The true friendship was Emilia's for Des, shown when she stood up witness for the honor of her dead mistress, against Iago, her lying husband, and was killed for it.
Men & Women
Othello & Desdemona:
- Othello excludes power with his role as a general in the army while Des. who is numerously described as a "fair lady" excludes submission and humbleness therefore we can see a power relationship between them, with Othello obviously holding the most power.
-It could be said that Des. holds power over Othello in terms of love as jealousy over her love changes and destroys Othello.
Emilia and Iago:
-There is a clear power struggle between this couple as Emilia holds strong feminist values and regards while Iago is a misogynist, regularly referring to women with derogatory name e.g: "whore", "wrenches"
Alot of action in the play is farmed by Iago's thrust for power, powering his anger towards Othello and Cassio when he is overlooked for an influencial and powerful position in the army.