To what extent does Shakespeare present Othello as being accountable for his own downfall? Shakespeare’s Othello consists of the themes betrayal, love and dishonesty. At the centre of this play is the awful downfall of Othello at the hands of his so called pal Iago. In this essay I will be discussing the factors for and against Othello being accountable for his failure through taking a look at important interpretations of his character and actions. In some ways you might state that Othello was highly accountable for his own downfall as he was quickly controlled by Iago revealing him to be gullible and naive.
Iago manipulates Othello by making him suspicious through inference, “Ha I like not that”. Iago mutters this in act 3 scene 3 when he sees Desdemona and Cassio talking. Iago hints that he understands something ensuring Othello can hear yet making it subtle sufficient to pretend that he didn’t desire him to understand. Iago then pretends to be unwilling to tell Othello about Desdemona, “Utter my ideas! Why, state they are vile and false?” He informs Othello just enough to captivate him; he does this by asking leading questions, “Did Micheal Cassio when you charmed my girl, understand of your love? Iago exasperates Othello by exposing so little bit, “I did not believe he had actually been familiarized with her”. This contributes to Othello’s jealousy about Desdemona therefore he keeps asking more questions about what Iago may understand “What dost thou say, Iago? He then wants to no all the information, “I prithee talk to me regarding thy thinkings”. Iago is getting more impact over Othello after this point ‘as Othello is ending up being more trusting of him, Iago is putting himself in a location of knowledge and power. The critic leavis also concurs that Othello has no one to blame but himself for his actions, ‘… … … … … … … … … … Yet in some ways you could say that Othello would not have actually acted the method he did if it wasn’t for the truth that Iago was manipulating him and therefore he might not have been entirely responsible. Bradley likewise a critic states that it was Iago’s control that eventually led to Othello’s failure,’… … … … … … … … … …’. On closer evaluation, throughout the play we see Iago controling all the characters in turn; this shows that he is a professional master manipulator for everyone to be tricked by him. When reading this play we do not expect Othello to be as easily manipulated by Iago as he was. As Othello is a general in the army we anticipate more discipline for him. He is an extremely appreciated general in a trusted position of authority. How could he have been driven into such a homicidal rope, either at the hand of another(Iago)or by a fault of his own? Othello has no reason to doubt what Iago is stating in fact he believes him honest and has positioned terrific trust in him … … … … … …… and therefore he becomes more quickly manipulated by him, the more Othello trusts Iago the more lies he can inform in his favour. Iago ingratiates himself to Othello and appears to be the good guy … … … … … … … … … … … Othello is an immigrant and is culturally naive, he is not from
Venice therefore does not have much knowledge of Venetian culture. Iago utilizes this to his benefit by telling Othello he knows of Venetian woman and Venetian culture, “I know our country personality well:”Iago translates occasions and give Othello deceptive info, he informs that Venetian woman often cheat on their other halves,”In Venice they do let God see the pranks “. This makes Othello dependent upon Iago for cultural assistance making Othello believe that his better half is capable of cheating as he is not from the exact same culture. Iago makes Othello question his judgement over Desdemona whilst improving
his jealously. Othello is dependent upon Iago and Iago exploits this. When talking about or to Desdemona, Othello’s language is abundant and passionate and he uses poetic language,”My soul hath her content so absolute that not another convenience like to this is successful in unknown fate”. Later on in the lay we can see that Othello is under Iago’s impact when his poetic language modifications and he ends up being confused, “Lie with her? Lie with her? We state lie on her when they belie her.”This reveals Othello’s breakdown through the breakdown of his syntax. Othello’s language once again ends up being poetic at the start of act 5, “Yet I’ll let not shed her blood, nor scar that whiter skin of hers than snow “. This shows that Iago’s influence over Othello is so consuming that Othello himself does not realise that he is under his impact. Othello is oblivious to the reality that he is being controlled by Iago and his return in poetic language reveals that he is a lot under Iago’s influence that it no longer impacts his speech; he’s adapted the ideas and impact of Iago completely.”When I have plucked thy rose, I can not offer it vital growth again “. After Othello ensures Desdemona’s disloyalty he then goes to speak to Emelia,”You have seen absolutely nothing then?” When he questions her she states she has saw absolutely nothing, “Nor ever heard, nor ever did believe”As Emelia spends most of her time with Desdemona, Othello should have some belief in what she is saying due to the fact that if Desdemona was to cheat then Emelia would be the one to learn about it.”I durst my lord, to wager she is sincere.”
Othello’s mind is currently made up,” Yes you have seen Cassio and she together “, Absolutely nothing Emeila says can alter his mind; he says Emelia is a whore with secrets.”This is a subtle whore, a closet lock and secret of atrocious secrets” Othello says these features of Emelia so that he can defend himself because he doesn’t think that she understands absolutely nothing of Desdemona’s affair. This reveals that it is his own fault as he is quick to evaluate Emeila for lying. Othello is quite to blame at this stage as he is acting in a rash and impulsive method and not taking in the information he is being told. It is obvious from the start
that Othello loves Desdemona we see this from his poetic language,”As truly regarding heaven I do confess the vices of my blood “, So we as a reader do not expect Othello to turn versus her so quickly. A factor for this might be that Othello was so deeply in love ith Desdemona that he ended up being open and vulnerable therefore he himself does not anticipate to be so quickly controlled by Iago. Othello states towards completion of the play that he was eliminating Desdemona for her own sake and for that reason avoiding her from doing the exact same once again,’Yet she must die, else she’ll betray more guys’. Yet we still see he enjoys her,’O pleasant breath, that dost nearly convince justice to break her sword’. Othello is nearly trying to protect his actions that are about to happen,’This sadness’s heavenly-it strikes where it doth love’. This reveals that Othello still cares for his partner but is so far under Iago’s influence that he feels killing her is the only way to end his suffering. Other readers of the play program they have different interpretations regarding what triggered Othello’s downfall and this shows that there are plainly many viewpoints. The critic Bradley, for example sees Othello as’a noble animal’, he says the play has to do with’Iago’s evil intent and Othello’s self-defeating idealism ‘whereas for Leavis( also a critic)states the play has to do with ‘Othello’s loss of sight’Both these critics have valid points for why they state these viewpoints. Bradley states that Othello is a relying on person,”His trust, where he trusts is absolute”Though Leavis objects to this, “We must include that this is true only of his trust of Iago, not of his other half”. Leavis states that Othello is more accountable for his downfall than Bradley does. Where Bradley excuses Othello’s behaviour Leavis blames him. In a manner Bradley is right as Iago was excellent at controling Othello yet Leavis also makes legitimate points because Othello truss Iago more than he does his partner. There have actually been numerous opinions from critics about Othello failure, however no clear conclusion can ever be made about who was to blame for his failure as there stand points on both sides. At the heart of Othello’s character there appears an obscurity he’s at when a basic, dignified and upstanding yet gullible, enthusiastic and naive. I think that Othello is accountable for his own actions. Although I do not think that any of the murders would have taken place if it wasn’t for Iago’s meddling. The influence of Iago can never be discounted and any clear conclusion could never ever be made.