Othello`s Un-honorable Act

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Othello’sUn-honorable Act

InShakespeare’s book, The Tragedy of Othello tells a story about adark-skinned African man by the name Othello. He is a general in theVenetian army, who through his efforts and success in battles hasmade him rise through ranks in the army. Through this, he earnedrespect from the people of Venice despite his dark skin and hisforeign origin. He is an honest person and considers everyone beingopen as he is making him naïve in various ways as discussed below.He falls deeply in love with Desdemona, a Venetian lady. He becomesso passionate about her that he killed her when Iago vengeful mantold him that she was cheating on him with another man, Cassio. Thispaper discusses various Othello’s personalities that refute his actof suicide as an honorable act.


Atthe beginning of the play, Othello believes in himself as noble andthat others believe it too. He fulfills this by being successful,high-ranking, respected by his subordinates and superiors andentrusted by the safety of the republic of Venice. He is sensitive tonature, dedicated to his job and religion. His entry to the play isimpressive and carries authority, as does his speech to the Senate,which wins an accolade from the Duke. His reputation is for having asolid virtue and nature with the passion that could not shake(Shakespeare and Neil, 87). His nobility is challenged when he killsDesdemona and refers it as an honorable act. This act cannot betermed as noble since he strangled her despite calling forforgiveness.

Passionateand Loving

Othelloshows her passion and love for Desdemona when he says that if afterevery storm she was there then he would want the storms to be bad(Shakespeare and Rolfe, 117). He also says that he will never behappier than that moment he saw her. Othello believes to have beenrescued from chaos by love. For Othello, Desdemona is an angel whohas rescued her from chaos where everything was horrible and painful.Othello’s love for Desdemona was too much as he says that he lovedher “too well” making him paranoid and even believes the liesIago puts in his mind. This leads him to kill his wife Desdemona,professing that he is killing her out of love and after realizingthat she was faithful all along he kills himself saying it is thehonorable thing to do. Taking her wife’s life and his is an actthat can’t be honored at any cost, it can only be termed asnaivety.


Jealousyis a highly egocentric sensation, and Othello spends much of his timeobsessed with the way Iago fools him. Iago interferes with Othello’smind by telling him that his wife is having an affair. Though he doeswant to believe Iago he pretends not to. He tells him to be aware ofjealousy as it is an appalling thing that can destroy a man(Shakespeare and Rolfe, 118). Othello states that he can’t beconsumed by jealousy. He claims that Desdemona chose him despite hisdark skin. He gets affected by what Iago told him and wanted proof ofDesdemona’s infidelity. Iago didn’t need to proof since herealized Othello had already believed what he said but went ahead andused the handkerchief that Othello gave her. He would drop it forCassio to find it. His jealousy leads him to kill his wife who allalong was faithful to him.


Asa sign of naivety, Othello allows himself to be manipulated by Iago.When faced with the task of handling love and marital affairs, hisnaivety challenges his self-confidence. Othello finds Desdemona’slove for him to be unreal, and when Iago learns of this, he finds aneasy way of manipulating him. He makes Othello believe that Desdemonais in love with Cassio. In his mind, Othello thinks of Cassio as agentleman many women in Desdemona’s situation would like to marrywhich heightens his fear of betrayal (Shakespeare and Rolfe, 120).

Hebelieves everything Iago tells him about his wife immoral. He evenlistens to him when he tells him to strangle her in bed. By thispoint in the play, Othello`s mind has been totally twisted. Afterwatching Desdemona and Cassio talking from a distance, Iago advocatesthat something mischievous is going on between them. As a noble andbrave man, he should have closely monitored his wife to gather theevidence before making the final judgment. Killing his wife andcommitting suicide can’t be termed as honorable but naivety.


Inthe end, Othello had totally changed and his mind completelycorrupted by Iago’s manipulation. He believes him and kills hiswife who he truly loved, and after he learns the truth that his wifeDesdemona was faithful all along, he decides to end his life. Heshould have taken his time to interrogate her wife and Cassio beforegiving into Iago’s claim of betrayal. As a nobleman and a tragichero, his death can only be termed as naive, dishonest and should notbe honored in any way. Despite his heroic traits and achievements inlife, his death declines his popularity as an honorable person andends on a downfall.


Shakespeare,William and Michael Neil. Othello,The Moor of Venice. 1sted. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2015. Print.

Shakespeare,William and W.J Rofle. Shakespeare`sTragedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice.1st ed. [Charleston, SC]: BiblioBazaar, 2013. Print.