Summary about Shakespeare’s Othello Essay

May 1, 2022 by Essay Writer

Othello is a literary play that was written by William Shakespeare in 1603. The play is a tragedy revolving around four main characters that include Othello, Desdemona, Iago and Cassio. The four main characters have different roles in the play that complement each other in this tragic play.

Othello is the lead character who plays the role of an army commander in the Venetian army. Cassio and Iago are junior military officers who work under Othello. Desdemona plays the role of Othello’s wife and the daughter of a senator. The play begins with a conversation between a rich gentleman known as Roderigo and Iago.

Roderigo complains about Othello’s secret marriage to Desdemona and demonstrates his intense passion for her. Roderigo expected Iago to inform him of this development because of their friendship. Roderigo is in love with Desdemona and his previous efforts to marry her had not succeeded. Iago is not happy with the fact that Othello had promoted Cassio ahead of him despite his inexperience. Roderigo decides to report Othello to senator Brabantio who is Desdemona’s father.

Desdemona’s father goes out to look for Othello but they unexpectedly bump into each other in a security meeting where Othello has been summoned to advise senators on the impending attack on Cyprus by the Turkish troops. There is a very uncomfortable encounter between Othello and Brabantio after the meeting.

Desdemona’s father accuses him of using witchcraft to marry his daughter but Othello manages to defend himself. Brabantio warns Othello that his daughter would betray him. As a general in the Venetian army, Othello leads the army troops to fight against the Turkish troops. Othello leaves Venice in the company of his wife, Iago and Cassio and Desdemona’s attendant known as Emilia.

The Venetian army under the leadership of Othello calls for a celebration after the fall of the Turkish troops. In this celebration, Iago and Roderigo plan a conspiracy to completely destroy Cassio. In their plan, they were going to entice Cassio to drink excessively so that he would cause a commotion at the party.

Othello gets disappointed with this development and decides to punish Cassio for causing a disturbance at the party. The next step for Iago is to harm Cassio through Roderigo. Iago creates a scenario to make things appear as if Cassio and Desdemona are having an affair so that Roderigo would attack Cassio. Iago also tricks Othello into believing that Desdemona is cheating on him with Cassio.

Othello feels betrayed by these events and resolves to kill his wife and Cassio. He sends Iago to kill Cassio and decides to confront his wife on the issue. The end of this play is characterized by a series of murders. Iago kills Roderigo to prevent him from revealing their plot and exonerates himself from an attempt to kill Cassio by implicating Cassio’s girlfriend known as Bianca.

Othello kills Desdemona in a confrontation and tries to justify his action by claiming that his wife had committed adultery. The only evidence he has is Desdemona’s handkerchief that was found in Cassio’s lodging. In Othello’s explanation, Emilia discovers Iago’s plot and reveals it to Othello. Othello regrets his action after discovering that his wife was actually innocent.

Iago kills Emilia for exposing his evil intentions. Othello stabs Iago with an intention of making him feel pain in his entire life and later commits suicide when he discovers that the authorities are about to arrest him for murder. The authorities arrest Iago and execute him for his actions. A Venetian nobleman known as Lodovico makes a declaration that Graziona would be Othello’s heir.

It is evident from the play that Othello’s life changes from good to bad in many instances. In the beginning of the play, Othello is a very successful army commander at the top of his career. This changes drastically when he murders his wife and later commits suicide. It is a shame for a top army commander to die under such circumstances.

Othello’s happy marriage with his wife Desdemona is eventually destroyed by Iago’s conspiracy. Iago succeeds in breaking Othello’s marriage through his evil plot. Othello’s Cyprus mission had a significant influence on his downfall. His rival Roderigo got a perfect opportunity to separate him from his beloved wife. Othello had complete trust in Iago who later betrayed him because of his selfish intentions.

Othello’s weaknesses and flaws are responsible for his demise in this play. Othello’s love for Desdemona is a major weakness that leads to his downfall. Iago exploits this weakness to advance his selfish plots. Iago realizes that Othello is a very jealous man in fear of losing his wife to a Venetian gentleman.

Iago goes ahead to use this weakness to convince Othello that his wife is unfaithful. Othello reacts by killing his wife and this leads to his eventual demise. Othello completely believes in the military system and does not question any information that Iago brings to him. It is this weakness that makes him to believe everything that Iago tells him without careful consideration. It is this flaw that leads to his eventual downfall.

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