Various Themes in Othello Play

Othello, The Moor of Venice is one of William Shakespeare’s greatest works. This play was first performed in 1604. The author, William Shakespeare, was born on April 23, 1564, in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England. Shakespeare’s plays are very popular because of life, revenge, love, death, jealousy, betrayal, murder, grief, magic and mystery. With this in mind, Othello by William Shakespeare is a significant poem because of love, betrayal, and jealousy. Othello is also a significant play because Shakespeare uses foreshadowing and dramatic irony.

In the beginning of this play we quickly find out that Othello is in love with Desdemona and they later get married. An example of foreshadowing comes at a point where Othello is talking to himself, Excellent wretch! Perdition catch my soul/ But I do love thee! And when I love thee not;/ Chaos is come again (3.3.91-92). This foreshadows Desdemona’s death in the play. Othello is completely in love with Desdemona but Iago gets in Othello’s head and told Othello that Desdemona is cheating on him. Iago played it all so well that it would make any man not trust his woman. Throughout the play we realize that Iago is a smart, manipulative man. An example of dramatic irony takes place in act four, scene one where Iago tries to convince Othello that Cassio has been sleeping with his wife by telling Othello to hide and watch as Cassio jokes about his past affair with her. The dramatic irony creates suspense as we watch Iago’s evil plans unfold and influence other characters. This is one of the four most significant elements in this play.

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In this play Othello’s greatest flaw is jealousy. At the beginning of this play we learn that Othello promotes Cassio over Iago, so this makes Iago furious and very jealous. Iago is a very smart man and at one point he manipulates Othello and tells him not to be jealous and goes on to say, O, beware, my lord, of jealousy; It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on” (3.3.167-168). In the end jealousy leads to Othello killing his wife and then ultimately kills himself. This is another one of the three most significant elements in this play.

Othello is also a significant play because of betrayal. In this play Iago betrays Othello, Roderigo and his wife Emilia. At one point in this story Iago says, And nothing can or shall content my soul/ Till I am evened with him, wife for wife./ Or failing so, yet that I put the Moor/ At least into a jealousy so strong/ That judgment cannot cure (2.1.277-281). The first example of betrayal we see in this poem is Iago and Roderigo. Iago and Roderigo have a friendship going on where Roderigo gives money to Iago in return for Iago convincing Desdemona to fall in love with him. Iago ends up killing Roderigo after getting everything he wanted and his unsuccessful plan. Iago also betrays Othello by telling him that Desdemona is having an affair with Cassio. Iago even betrays his own wife, Emilia, by telling her to steal the handkerchief. Emilia blows Iago’s cover when she finds out about his evil plan, so Iago kills her as well. This is the last significant element of this play.

In conclusion, Othello is a significant play because of love, betrayal, and jealousy. Shakespeare does an amazing job using foreshadowing and dramatic irony. The moral lesson in this story is to be careful of the people we trust.

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