Back to: Othello by William Shakespeare
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The play Othello portrays various stages of love and how it is bound to the nature of the individuals who experience it. In the play, one gets to see the love of Desdemona and Othello and also the kind of love between Emilia and Iago.
Considering the love in friendship, one can analyse the friendship between Emilia and Desdemona. Iago also acts as a friend and his abuse of such a bond of love with Roderigo, Cassio and Othello show us his understanding of it and the capacity of a human being to misuse that.
Ideal Love of Othello and Desdemona
The love between Desdemona and Othello begins as ideally as it can. Even though she is from a high lineage, she elopes with Othello, known to be a moor in that society. It shows the triumph of faith in the course of love.
In front of the Duke and others, she openly proclaims her love for Othello. Othello, known for his bravery and integrity, retells their bond in front of everyone. It is the most ideal strength of love where both are afraid of nothing and equally ready to face the world.
But with the advent of Iago’s plan, one sees Othello’s vulnerability who is yet to match the devotion and trust which Desdemona has for him. Othello loves truly but his own insecurities allow Iago to plant the possibility of Desdemona’s infidelity.
Shakespeare shows how the immensity of one’s deep connection can be turned upside down to an equal amount. Earlier, their love is not afflicted by the excess of lust which may imbalance it.
But Iago traces the weakness in Othello and utters with precision and cunningly makes him conscious of the false convention of women going for someone like refined Cassio instead of a rough Othello.
Jealousy is shown here as a strong by-product of a strong love. Othello’s devotion to Desdemona is supreme too but it is vulnerable and imprudent.
He says, “I do love thee! And when I love thee not, chaos is come again.” It ends up in angelic Desdemona’s death by Othello.
In contrast to this, the play also shows the like of love of Roderigo. He infatuates from his own side only. As a true observation of life, the play shows how most of the time such one side excesses bring tragedy upon one’s own and other’s life.
Emilia’s Blind Love
Emilia loves Iago so much that as his wife, even a deeply understanding woman like her, never questions her husband’s intentions behind questionable demands.
Without even asking why he needs it, she gives away the handkerchief of Desdemona given to her by Othello as their first token of love and it becomes the solid weapon in the hands of Iago.
Cassio shows a pure aspect of love and friendship by remaining loyal to Othello to the end. Iago, at the centre of all these, knows how to exploit this loving tendency in human beings. Love and its varying aspects of beauty and misfortune remain among the prime thematic concerns of this play.