Short on time?

Get essay writing help

Othello: The Role of Iago in the Preventable and Tragic Murder

  • Words: 1212
  • |
  • Pages: 3
  • This essay sample was donated by a student to help the academic community. Papers provided by EduBirdie writers usually outdo students' samples.

In Shakespeare’s Othello, it follows a Moorish general’s internal struggle with deciphering between right and wrong. He’s in love with a beautiful Venitain woman, Desdemona, daughter of the Senator. But all odds are stacked against him as his followers try to drive them apart. Eventually, Othello succumbs to all the rage and kills his wife because of an assumed affair between Desdemona and his partner Cassio. Then he kills himself because he realizes her innocence. In Shakespeare’s Othello, Shakespear does not make Othello’s actions excusable because he becomes so easily guided and consumed by jealousy that his lover becomes a fatal attraction.

Othello has deep seated problems regarding identity stemming from not only being the only colored man in Venice but marrying the beautiful Desdemona. He becomes insecure about his worthiness for Desdemona and is easily gullible because he’s become vulnerable in his relationship. Meanwhile, he only considers himself. Desdemona has the view of being a whore, but this doesn’t affect her psyche because she feels loved by Othello. This results in being easily swayed by Iago, Othello’s apprentice, in believing that Desdemona is in an affair with Cassio because of his jealousy of his position. But little does Othello know that Iago is plotting against him and Iago being the manipulator he knows Othello will trust and believe him. ‘He holds me well; The better shall my purpose work on him’ (1.3.390-391). Because Othello is mentally weak he’s easily taken advantage of by Iago’s antics. If he truly loved Desdemona then he would refuse to believe Iago but Othello has an unwavering trust for him constantly referring to him as “Honest Iago”. Iago’s treacherous plot unfolds with a brutal inevitability. He believes Iago so intensely that he kills his wife “Do it not with poison. Strangle her in her bed, even the bed she hath contaminated.” “Good, good. The justice of it pleases. Very good”(4.1.223-229). Othello felt that this was the only way to end the relationship. And at the end that was his own judgment to make, no one else’s.

Ultimately Othello’s thought of Desdemona unfaithfulness begins to intrusively impede his mind and he truly believes that Desdemona is cheating on him. He’s almost incoherent to anything anyone says except Iago. As Othello goes to kill Desdemona he wakes her. He informs her that he’s come to kill her because of her betrayal. But can’t even listen to his own wife as she begs for her life.“I never did / Offend you in my life, never loved Cassio”(5.2). Desdemona’s love for Othello is undying as she was willing to put up with his anger up until this point. But Othello refuses to listen. She begs for one more day. Again he refuses and smothers her to death. Othello’s emotions had gotten the best of him. He had no mercy. Despite death, Desdemona utters her last words as Emilia asks who killed her. “Nobody. I myself. Farewell. Commend me to my kind lord. O, farewell”( 5.2.152-152). Desdemona asks Emilia to commend her “kind lord”. She remains in love with him even though she knows he’s responsible for her death.

Save your time!
We can take care of your essay
  • Proper editing and formatting
  • Free revision, title page, and bibliography
  • Flexible prices and money-back guarantee
Place Order

Jealousy and rage turn Othello’s love for Desdemona into a fatal attraction. Becoming fatally attracted to someone can result in increased or overwhelming feelings of controlling the other partner for “love”. Othello’s mind has been completely warped, and the thought of Desdemona loving someone else drove him mad. After killing her he sounds in a daze, trying to defend the fact that he did it. “She’s like a liar gone to burning hell, twas I that killed her”(5.2.133). He wants his actions to be just because a woman like her shouldn’t be loved by him. He couldn’t deny his love for her, referring to her as an “entire and perfect chrysolite, I’d not have sold her for it” (5.2.177). Desdemona was a perfect jew but unfaithful in Othello’s eyes. Emilia begins to cry out and grabs the attention of Iago and others. As the dots begin to connect Emilia realizes before Othello that this was all a setup and she was willing to die for the defense of her friend. “O thou dull Moor, that handkerchief thou speak’ st of I found by fortune, and did give my husband— For often, with a solemn earnestness(More than indeed belonged to such a trifle), He begged of me to steal ’t”(5.2.267). The handkerchief that Othello gave to Desdemona as a token ended up with Cassio. But it was all just a set up by Iago. Emilia had found it and Iago demanded that he have it for his little plan. Othello finally understood all at once hitting him like a wave. Once Othello realized Desdemona’s innocence, it was too late. In his heart full despair demeaning himself to hell.“Whip me, ye devils, From the possession of this heavenly sight! Blow me about in winds, roast me in sulfur, Wash me in steep-down gulfs of liquid fire!—Oh, Desdemona! Desdemona! dead! Oh! Oh!” (5.2.286-290). Othello then commits suicide because he was being led this entire time. Like a fish attracted to a hook only to end up dead and eaten.

Othello is just a tragedy that is built upon miscommunication and misunderstanding. Iago subliminally controls Othello without actually doing anything but building on his own self loathing. The rest was up to Othello and he fell right into Iago’s trap. As it is seen though Iago works tirelessly to ruin reputations and perceptions. For example, Iago making Cassio look unprofessional in his drunken state in front of Othello. What’s the matter/That you unlace your reputation thus,/And spend your rich opinion for the name/Of a night-brawler? Give me an answer to it”(2.3.194). But alas Iago confirms with Cassio to get the trust back of Othello he must get it back to Desdemona first. But Iago’s ambitions extend beyond this. Iago alters the meaning of objects, of course, Desdemona’s handkerchief symbolizing the connection between her and Othello.”If it is not for some purpose of import/ Give ’t me again/ Poor lady, she’ll run mad When she shall lack it” (3.3.325-329). Iago knew that by taking the handkerchief and placing it into the hands of Iago would be the perfect set up and then all would fall according to plan. But the play asserts that these misreadings occur not just as a result of the individual action, but also because of social forces. As he became obsessed with the thought of the unfaithfulness of his maiden he became problematic and unhealthy. He assumed that he would never find true love again and Desdemona took that away from him

Throughout the play, Othello has just completely mentally lost himself. He was gullible and vulnerable because of his insecurities. He became jealous and formed a fatal attraction to Desdemona. He killed her and once he realized it, it was too late. In his heart full of despair he killed his own self and thus deeming himself the tragic hero. All could have been avoided if Desdemona and Othello had better communication skills and a better understanding of each other. But in the end, both relied on their hearts too much rather than their head. In this instance, the reader can compare Othello’s tragedy to other characters of Shakespeare’s work such as Romeo and Juliet’s tragic story.

Make sure you submit a unique essay

Our writers will provide you with an essay sample written from scratch: any topic, any deadline, any instructions.

Cite this Page

Othello: The Role of Iago in the Preventable and Tragic Murder. (2022, Jun 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 4, 2023, from
“Othello: The Role of Iago in the Preventable and Tragic Murder.” Edubirdie, 09 Jun. 2022,
Othello: The Role of Iago in the Preventable and Tragic Murder. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 4 Feb. 2023].
Othello: The Role of Iago in the Preventable and Tragic Murder [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 09 [cited 2023 Feb 4]. Available from:
Join 100k satisfied students
  • Get original paper written according to your instructions
  • Save time for what matters most
hire writer

Fair Use Policy

EduBirdie considers academic integrity to be the essential part of the learning process and does not support any violation of the academic standards. Should you have any questions regarding our Fair Use Policy or become aware of any violations, please do not hesitate to contact us via

Check it out!
search Stuck on your essay?

We are here 24/7 to write your paper in as fast as 3 hours.