Othello by William Shakespeare takes place in Venice during the invasion of the island of Cyprus by the Turks. The protagonist of the story, Othello, is a newlywed, Moorish general with a very gullible nature. The antagonist of the story is Iago, an officer under Othello who wishes to be promoted to lieutenant, but the position was given to the young and attractive Cassio. Other major characters in the play are Desdemona, Othello’s wife who is accused of having an affair with Cassio.
In addition, there are Roderigo, Venetian who is deeply in love with Desdemona; and Emilia (Iago’s wife) who could have prevented the death of Desdemona. The tone of the story is tragic and serious. Meanwhile, there isn’t any point of view because this is a play and a play doesn’t normally have a narrator. Shakespeare lets the reader make up his/her own imagination with the characters’ words and behavior. Since Othello is the protagonist, he is explained in more detail.
Although Othello is a brave warrior, he is a jealous person; his jealousy also prevails over his good sense. The whole play depicts the fact that jealousy causes corruption. There are many conflicts found in Othello, and person vs. person is one of them. An example is when Iago seeks revenge against Othello and Cassio because of his anger and jealousy. Person vs. society appears when Desdemona’s father Brabantio, disapproves her marriage to Othello because he is several years older than Desdemona, from a different class, and a different race.
An internal conflict of person vs. imself is found when Othello is in a dilemma bout whether or not should he believe that Desdemona is being unfaithful to him. Othello loves and trusts Desdemona until his jealousy is aroused by the cruel manipulations of Iago. Iago’s intention was to persuade Othello to believe that Desdemona is having an affair with Cassio. As Iago succeeds in convincing Othello that Desdemona is guilty of adultery, it leads to the climax of the play. And so Othello must face emotions he can’t deal with. His jealousy drives him insane, and his judgment is replaced with anger and hate.
At this time, the eader notices that the death of Desdemona is inevitable. Othello smothers her, and he eventually kills himself when he knows that Iago falsely accused Desdemona. This also represents the tragedy of the play. A lesson that readers learn from the play is that jealousy causes corruption in many ways such as dishonesty which was portrayed by Iago. As for Othello, the tragedy would not have happened if it wasn’t for Iago who was jealous of Cassio for having the lieutenant’s job and of Othello for being a successful soldier.
Iago’s scheme caused many eaths. Iago is amoral. For example, even when the innocent Desdemona dies, he doesn’t have a sense of guilt; and even when he is about to die, he does not have thoughts of remorse. In addition, Othello also caused Desdemona’s death due to his jealousy and his impulsiveness. As Othello says, “I’ll see before I’ll doubt; when I doubt, prove; / And on the proof, there is no more but this, / Away at once with love or jealousy! ” Even in the end, Othello doesn’t know what was his actual motivation for killing the woman he loves.