Othello's Character Changes

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In Shakespeare's Othello, Othello’s character changes drastically throughout the play. The noble general the audience is introduced to in act one becomes increasingly paranoid, and eventually murders his suspected wife due to his uncertainty of her loyalty. Iago and Roderigo introduce the audience to Othello. They slander his character, comparing him to an African Stallion, and insulting his race and “thick lips.” To the audience, Othello would be a uncouth and impolite character with unholy intentions for Desdemona. However, Othello’s nobility is revealed during his speech to the Duke. When Othello tells a remarkable story about his life, the audience sees Othello’s courage. Othello is calm and polite in his speech, and shows his love for…show more content…
Iago’s machinations cause Othello to cast doubt on the friendship of Cassio and Desdemona. In act one, Othello was certain of Desdemona’s loyalty to him. However, Iago manipulates the circumstances surrounding Desdemona’s requests for Othello to reconsider his dischargement of Cassio. When Iago refuses to speak his mind for fear of being paranoid, Othello says “I know thou’rt full of love and honesty, and weigh’st thy words before thou giv’st them.” Othello believes Iago to be honourable, and by not informing him of his true thoughts, he is betraying their friendship. Iago finally tells Othello to look to his wife, and to watch for Cassio. He insinuates that there may be a secret relationship between the two. Othello, previously confident and certain, becomes doubtful of his relationship to Desdemona. The words of Iago, who he feels to be honourable, outweigh his own beliefs. Othello’s sudden doubts contradict his personality, confusing the audience. He says “Haply, for I am black.” Othello questions whether his race has caused Desdemona to stray from him. With the numerous mentions of Othello’s race in the play, it is clear that Othello has subconsciously feared this outcome. Othello becomes obsessed with Desdemona’s infidelity, consumed by the uncertainty of her betrayal. His desperation for proof of her disloyalty shows when
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