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The Catastrophe of Othello


Othello Essay

The Catastrophe of Othello, The Moor of Venice. Why is it that Othello places ultimate rely on Iago’s allegations rather of asking of Desdemona her “adultery”? Is it Iago’s vicious nature or does it, in fact, lie with Othello himself? Obvious reasons are advanced to explain the above concern: It was Iago’s malicious meanderings that overwhelmed Othello; it was Othello’s innocence, his brutish nature and lack of psychological intelligence that caused his awful end.

I think, by describing the design of the play, that one person just can not be to blame. Without Iago there would be no Othello and vice versa. I see it that Othello’s demise can be credited to both himself and Iago for they are the ideal pair; both proud guys driven by their narcissism and desire to fit in. This is the core reason Othello does not investigate Iago’s allegations. Iago caters Othello’s egotistical nature, offering Othello factor to trust him.

Othello’s desire for an ‘idealized image’ in ‘Venetian Society’, together with his need to provide enjoyment to his ego, leaves him susceptible to Iago’s malevolence and control. Othello’s ‘love of admission’ is kept in mind on his return from fight with the Turks when he boasts to Desdemona his approval and “love” by the Cypriots, “Honey, you will be well desir ‘d in Cyprus; I have actually found great love among them.” (II, i; 208-209).

Iago’s intelligence allows him to pick up on the insecurities within Othello and utilize them to his benefit, hence feeding his own narcissism; the egotistical increase he gets from deceit. It is since of Iago’s insight into Othello’s insecurities that he has power over him, and the reason Othello confides in him. He displays this superbly by abusing Othello when not permitting him access to his ideas, making Othello question his own authority, “Thou dost conspire versus thy good friend, Iago … and mak’st his ear a stranger to thy thoughts. (III, iii; 142-143 and 144-146) Therefore, I factor, it is due to the mutualistic bond between Othello and Iago’s narcissism that triggers him to seek no evidence concerning Desdemona’s ‘betrayal’. To ask of her would put a dent in his ‘image’ that he so adores, therefore he opts to confide in Iago to keep his insecurities safe and feed his ego. Pride, narcissism, the need to belong and eventually, power, are the elements that drive the motives and ideas within Othello. Even in death he and Iago hold on to these elements, leaving lots of questions and hence holding power over all …

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