Othello and the theme of friendship in the play

Essay by Tina16 May 2008

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Friendship is a special bond between two or more people. This relationship is built on the basis of trust, loyalty and honesty. In the play Othello, Shakespeare demonstrates these qualities through many of his characters to portray their deep friendships. However as the play progresses these friends turn into foes as many problems occur in their friendships and lead to many tragic events. The negative qualities that tore these friendships apart are distrust, selfishness and jealousy that led many of the characters to their tragedies. In the play Othello, Shakespeare demonstrates that there are many causes of the problems that occur in certain friendships.

In Shakespeare's Othello, many friendships showed a lack of trust which resulted into many tragic events. This negative quality is repeatedly found in the character of Othello. Shakespeare wrote the relationship between Othello and Cassio to be that of friendship that consists of loyalty and honesty.

The conflict between these two characters arose as Iago plants seeds of doubt into Othello's mind about Cassio's loyalty towards him. Othello's trust in his friend Cassio was like a thin thread. It was very easy for Iago to succeed in his evil plans, for there was a lack of trust in their friendship. Iago manipulates Othello into believing that his honest wife Desdemona is having an affair with the loyal lieutenant Cassio. Although Iago gives no form of physical evidence, his convincing words are strong enough to allow such intense thoughts to enter Othello's mind. As Iago states to Othello:"It is impossible you should see this,Were they as prime as goats, as hot as mnkeys,As salt as wolves in pride, and fools as grossAs ignorance made drunk." (3.3.402-405)Iago uses such intense imagery of Desdemona and Cassio sleeping together, that it...