Othello by William Shakespear

Essay by shaepariHigh School, 10th gradeA+, December 2007

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In the play Othello by William Shakespeare change is represented not so much by its presence but by its absence. This play is about how an inability to change will bring about tragic consequences.

The main characters in Othello are Othello, Iago and Desdemona. All of these characters fail to change throughout the course of the play and consequently are the cause of their own downfall. The characters maintain their restricted attitudes throughout Othello.

Othello is a very narrow minded and simple character. It is as a direct consequence of his inability to change that he is able to be so easily manipulated by Iago. At the beginning of the play Othello states “For since these arms of mine… their dearest action in the tented field; And little of this great world can I speak more than pertains to feats of broil and battle.” Othello acknowledges his naivety and lack of knowledge of life.

“My parts, my title, my perfect soul” Othello states when Iago informs him that Brabantio is coming to confront him. Alongside Othello’s self proclaimed naivety Othello also has a very idealized view of the himself, the world and love. It is a combination of all of these characteristics that ultimately lead to Othello’s downfall.

In Act 4 (the dungeon scene) Iago leads Othello to the cell and locks him in. This is an analogy. Othello is placed in a cage by Iago. Iago however did not create this cage, he merely takes advantage of the fact that one is already there, this is both literally and figuratively. Othello’s naivety and simplicity as a character is his figurative cage, Iago simply makes this apparent. Thus, within Othello’s character there is a lack of genuine change.

Iago is the essentially evil character of Othello. Iago states...