Othello The character of Othello is one of the most romantic figures among William Shakespeare's heroes. His romanticism evolves partly from the strange and mysterious life he has led as a soldier of fortune and from the adventures he led as a child.
Othello's own nature is romantic with his dark, handsome, and grand appearance. He has an extremely poetic imagination. He wins Desdemona's hand by telling her of the exotic tales of strange people with customs and unusual appearances. Othello appears almost as a fairy tale character.
Othello is a professional soldier. He is powerful, brave, and authoritative. He is liked by his soldiers, and demands respect from all of them. His reputation is strong, and it is his discipline that earns him respect from the Venetians.
Othello does not question anyone's loyalty and is very trusting.
He fires Cassio so as to set an example and will not reinstate him as a matter of principle.
Othello maintains a strict code of honor both military and private. It is this code of honor that he uses to rationalize why he has killed Desdemona.
Her death in Othello's eyes is an act of justice not revenge because his honor was lost and must be won back.
Othello is a very simple man and not very observant. He has a bad temper and is prone to jealousy. Emotion excites but confuses Othello. Shakespeare emphasizes repeatedly the amount of self-control Othello has and must maintain over his passionate nature. An example of how necessary his self-control is when he tries to give an explanation of the fight between Montano and Cassio: "Now, by heaven, My blood begins my safer guides to rule, And passion, having my best judgment collied, Assays to lead the way." Othello says this when he...