Back to: Othello by William Shakespeare
In the play Othello, the character of Othello as the main protagonist towers above other characters in terms of nobility and power. His action and feelings come from the noble source only but in the play, one notices how such a character can also have certain vulnerability to become prey of evil.
Due to this, his suffering becomes heart-rending. The love and pity one feels for Othello is much different from what one feels for any of his other protagonists.
At the beginning of the play, Brabantio comes out angrily looking for Desdemona and Othello after hearing the news, confronts him in a manly way but with supreme calm.
When his life is threatened at that moment, he says, “keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them. Good signior, you shall more command with years than with your weapons.”
It shows his capacity to deal with things even under such pressure. Later Lodovico out of surprise questions, “is this noble soul whom our full senate call all in all sufficient?” We come to understand the respect and command he has in that society due to his integrity and force.
Othello has natural fearlessness and a habit of command. He shows his respect for others whenever he deals with others in worldly issues. His character is a poetic character.
Once the suspicion over Desdemona is planted in his vulnerable mind, he says, “no my heart is turned to stone; I strike it, and it hurts my hand.” Even with all this poetic vision of life, he is too simple due to which he is unable to judge characters like Iago.
In the play, his character is an isolated character. He is identified as a moor which is of a different racial origin. It isolates him culturally. Even when he has such a command, it is easy for someone like Iago to make him look suspectable and prejudiced.
When in reality, his character is truly an adventurous character. Desdemona falls in love with him after knowing how he has fought through the difficult terrains of life and reached the position where he is now.
Even though his tragic flaw resides in his vulnerability to what might be resulting from complexes due to his social identity, but one must understand he has a great capacity for passion and in that great passion when jealousy arrests him, it becomes uncontrollable.
His character is up for instant judgement so he looks for immediate results. So, in the end, he descends into a helpless zone where Iago isolates him from everything which might’ve saved him. His character also shows in the end how wrong prejudices are.