Thea Simpson Dec 6, 2013
Grade 10 English Honors
The Main Characters' Views And Opinions Of Othello
A happy couple, newly married and very much in love, a young lieutenant determined to do well in his new position, and one man who is jealous enough to bring them all down. Such are the central characters of Othello, by William Shakespeare. Othello, the title protagonist, is a black African prince living in the racially prejudiced world of Venice in the 16th century. He is the General of the Venetian Empire, and is sent by the Duke of Venice to fight off the Ottoman Empire from taking the island of Cyprus. But before he leaves, he secretly marries Desdemona, the daughter of a prominent senator, Brabantio. He makes young Michael Cassio his lieutenant, passing over his standard bearer, Iago, a hateful man. Iago is determined to destroy all three, and take the position of lieutenant for himself.
He manipulates people for his own benefit, and destroys the good reputation Othello had made for himself. What sets this play apart from Shakespeare's other works is that it makes the audiences reconsider their assumptions about Othello because of his race. Throughout the story the audience are forced to acknowledge this and understand what makes his situation such a tragedy. Even though he is black, Othello is not a monster, nor is he an animal with no complicated thoughts or feelings. He is human.
Othello is portrayed as a likeable character who is successful in a racist society, possessing qualities such as honesty, openness, and trust. Yet, only three of the central characters have good opinions of him. The Duke respects Othello for his military achievements and good qualities as a soldier. Othello has served in many years of service, which the Duke...