Othello Othello is a distinct and extremely debated tragic play of Shakespeare's. Beginning even with his selection of characters, his decision to make a black man a tragic hero, at this time this was bold and original, by accent tradition blackness was associated with sin and death. Any play that preceded Othello at this time, the black character's were generally villainous. The main characters of this tragic story are a Moor of Venice (Othello), his Venetian wife (Desdemona.
Shakespeare also invented several other characters, including Roderigo, a young disappointed suitor of Desdemona, and Brabantio, Desdemona's father, who greatly opposes her marriage to Othello this second layer of people around Othello ad's to the complexity of the story... Shakespeare also introduces the military action between Turkey and Venice- infidels and Christians which is very important to the mood at the time. Othello and Desdemona are happily falling in love when the story begins, on a Venetian street at night, in the middle of a conversation between Iago an officer in Venice's military, and a Venetian gentleman named Roderigo. The two men have been speaking of the recent elopement of Othello, the commander of Venice's army and a Moor, with Desdemona, the daughter of a Senator in the city. Roderigo has been a suitor for Desdemona, and he is upset by the news. Iago tells Roderigo that he hates Othello, because the Moor passed him over for a promotion and named Cassio, as lieutenant in his place.
The two men proceed to the house of Brabantio and awaken the Senator. They tell him that Othello has eloped with his daughter. Iago leaves, saying that he must still pretend to be loyal to Othello, and Brabantio and Roderigo gather armed men to go seize the newlyweds. Iago returns to Othello, and tells his commander how Brabantio cursed Othello, he replies that the services he has done for Venice will make the leaders of the city side with him. At that moment, Cassio enters, bearing a summons from the Duke (there are rumors of war in Cyprus). The Duke declares that Othello must lead the fleet to war against the Turks.
In response, Othello asks Iago to go and fetch his bride, and then explains his courtship of Desdemona. She arrives and her father demands to know if Othello's story is true if their marriage. She confirms it, and professes her love for her husband. Othello decides to set sail immediately, and have Desdemona follow in another ship, escorted by Iago. As Othello leaves, Brabantio warns him to watch his wife because she deceived her father, and so may deceive her husband as well. Iago laughs at this, saying that Desdemona and the Moor will soon be tired of one another, and tells Roderigo to follow them to Cyprus, and to bring with him a large amount of money.
He reminds Roderigo that he hates Othello, and promises to help him seduce Desdemona in Cyprus. When the other man leaves Iago delivers his first speech, in which he says that he plans to use Roderigo for his money. As they arrive on shore before Othello, Iago watch's every move Desdemona makes thinking of how he will use it to inspire Othello's jealousy and steal Cassio's rank. Iago tells Roderigo that Desdemona is in love with Cassio, and advises him to induce the hot-tempered lieutenant into a duel.
Roderigo agrees, as Iago discusses his own jealousy and fear that both Othello and Cassio have slept with Emilia. After the war was won through the city everyone celebrated the destruction of the Turks and the consummation of Othello's marriage. While celebrating Cassio, Montano, and Iago are drinking and become drunk. Shortly after, Roderigo runs past them with Cassio chasing him. When Montano tries to intervene, Cassio stabs him.
The alarm bells ring, and Othello comes out to see what the matter is, Iago reluctantly states what has happened. Othello strips Cassio of his rank. The next day Cassio meets Desdemona in the garden, and she tells him that she will persuade Othello to reinstate him after the incident the night before. Cassio departs in embarrassment when he sees Othello coming. Othello sees Cassio slip away, and Iago suggests that there is something suspicious about Cassio's behavior. Desdemona greets her husband, and then begs for Cassio's reinstatement; Othello yields, declaring that he can deny her nothing.
She says that she only has his best interests at heart, and departs with Emilia. Iago then asks about the relationship between Cassio and Desdemona. When Othello demands to know the reason for his questions Iago says to him "be careful, because Desdemona displayed a deceptive nature when she hid her marriage from her father." When Desdemona leaves with Othello she accidentally drops a handkerchief, which was Desdemona's first gift from Othello, Iago appears and takes the kerchief he plans to plant it in Cassio's. Othello re-enters, and is very upset about the idea of Desdemona's infidelity.
He demands that Iago show him visual proof of his wife's infidelity. Iago says that Cassio has her handkerchief because they slept together, Othello believes what Iago has told him about Desdemona and commands Iago to kill Cassio, while he himself will kill Desdemona and Othello declares Iago is his new lieutenant. At this moment the play takes its horrible turn for he worst Othello is not unknowingly is now playing their murderous game of which he is simply a piece. Soon after Othello leaves, Iago and Rodrigo wait outside for Cassio to pass on his way home. Iago tells his companion plan to stab Cassio as he goes by.
Cassio comes, and Roderigo stabs him, but does not kill him. Latter Desdemona realizes she has lost the handkerchief and becomes upset, Othello enters the room and makes several strange comments. When Desdemona begins to speak of Cassio, her husband complains of a cold and asks for a handkerchief. She gives him one, but he asks for the one he gave her, when she doesn't have it, he departs in a fury. Meanwhile Cassio gets a copy of Desdemona's handkerchief made in secret. While Othello turn to Iago for help but Iago only torments Othello with images of adultery.
He tells Othello that Cassio has boasted of sleeping with Desdemona and that is why she gave him, her handkerchief. Othello furiously plans to kill her. Othello now returns to his bedchamber, where Desdemona lies sleeping and he gets ready to kill her. He first kisses her, saying how hard it will be to do this irrevocable thing, and then kisses her again -- and she awakes. She can tell something is wrong, and asks what the matter is, and he demands that she confess having given her handkerchief to Cassio.
She denies it, Othello tells her that Cassio confessed to having slept with her -- and that he has been killed. She begins to cry, and Othello thinks she is crying for Cassio, and despite her desperate protests, strangles her. There is a knock at the door, Emilia enters and tells him that Roderigo is dead, and Cassio wounded. Desdemona cries to Emilia and with her dying breath, Desdemona declares her husband innocent of her murder. Othello says that Desdemona was a liar destined for hell.
Emilia cries for help and a crowd arrives, including Iago. And the true story unravels. Othello throws himself on the bed, refusing to believe what Emilia says, but when she tells how Iago used the handkerchief, he realizes how he has been tricked and tries to attack Iago. In the confusion, Iago stabs his wife and flees; Montano with the others, pursues Iago.
The rest of the men return, bringing with them Iago, and Cassio. Iago, confesses to Cassio that he planned his murder, and demands that Iago tell him why he did this. Iago replies "What you know, you know" and does not speak again. Othello then stabs himself, and falls next to Desdemona, kissing her as he dies. Ludovico gives the final speech, telling Iago to look upon his victims, naming Gratia no as Othello's heir (Brabantio, we have learned, has died), putting Montano in charge of Iago's execution, and leaving for Venice to bear the news to the Duke and Senate. Thus goes the end of this love story that seemed almost destined to end in tragedy.
I asked my self after I read the play was their love not successful because of Desdemonas's love past, or because of others jealousy for Othello's position? After deep thinking I have come to the conclusion that it was both. If they really had true love.