If you have attended an American high school, then you’ve probably read the book Othello by Shakespeare. It’s a typical Shakespearean tragedy, with a tragic hero, antagonist, and all.
Warning if you haven’t read the book yet: spoiler alert! Basic summary of the play is a girl, Desdemona, leaves her father to marry a Moor called Othello, who has fought in various wars. The villain, Iago, manages to play each and every character of the play like pawns throughout the whole book. It’s quite amazing. And by the end of the book, basically everyone but Iago just about dies.
Iago manipulates Othello by telling him that his wife is cheating on him with his side-general, Cassio. Of course, he magically gets Cassio to help him without realizing what he is doing. And Othello loses himself and gets overly jealous, killing Desdemona in the end.
Just about everything falls apart for Othello. He kills his wife, becomes a paranoid man, and… ends his own life. He hits rock bottom pretty hard.
And it’s all on him; it’s all on Othello.
But people may argue that it was Iago’s fault that the story fell apart.
Yeah, sure, Iago was the devil sitting on his shoulders whispering to manipulate and trick him, but Iago never directly said, “Kill your wife.” Even if he did, it was Othello’s choice to actually do the action.
Not only that, but it was also Othello who did not recognize the fact that Desdemona left his father and her luxuries to marry him. Yet he was so quick to judge that she was cheating on him. He was blinded by his insecurities, which led him to smother his wife with a pillow.
Man, how crazily jealous do you have to be in order to kill your own wife like that?
Because Othello was so blinded by his jealousy and insecurity, he believes everything Iago tells him, not considering once to actually check it out for himself. Maybe if he actually even wanted to check it out for himself, things would have played out differently.
In the book, there is this strawberry handkerchief that plays a big part in the story line and fall of Othello. Othello had given the handkerchief to Desdemona as a gift and he, himself, accidentally dropped it without knowing. Iago gets the handkerchief and slyly gets it to Cassio without Cassio actually knowing. Neither Othello nor Desdemona know that Othello basically lost the handkerchief and of course, this causes drama.
Othello later sees Cassio with the handkerchief and explodes. And Desdemona fears Othello from then on, probably also rethinking the marriage she committed behind her father’s back. But too late to turn back now since her father passed away due to grief over the loss of his daughter.
Maybe if Othello had calmed down and just listened to those around him or even told his dear wife what he was suspecting, things would have played out different. Maybe he if he cared enough to look into it himself, the ending would have been different.
But he didn’t. ❤
Word of the Day: paraprosexia