5 Oct 2019

MA English Part.1 Othello by William Shakespeare | Character of Othello

William Shakespeare s' Tragic Play 'Othello'

Character of Othello
Othello is a complex character. It is not easy to understand him. Swinburne says, “Othello was the noblest man of man s’ making.” But T.S Eliot speaks unavoidably for him. Othello is a man of great stature and a man of qualities though he has many weak points in his character.

Bradley and Leavis have different viewpoints about Othello s’ character. Bradley says that Othello is a perfect and noble character and he is totally blameless. He is of the view that hating Othello is not justified. Leavis says it is wrong to say that Othello s’ tragedy is caused by Iago. These are Othello s’ shortcomings and weak points of his character which lead toward his own tragic end. His love for Desdemona and his egoistic attitude caused his tragedy.

Leavis says that Othello is an egoist. This egotism is seen in his callous treatment Barbantio. He has spent his most of the time in war fighting against the enemies. He is unaware of the typicality of life. He becomes too much possessive in love. Othello s’ egotism is intense enough for Iago to plan is intrigue quite successfully.

Othello is a romantic character. His racial treatment shares in his tragedy. His roaming in the vast deserts, his war stories and his exploits, his experiences of slavery and his participation in the wars and battles makes his the most romantic figure among Shakespeare s’ heroes. He is not only a romantic figure, his whole nature is romantic.

Othello s’ character is full of tragic flaws and shortcomings. His romanticism and weaknesses become the cause of his tragedy. He is a man of rapid temperament, his hasty decision making power causes his tragedy. He is not observant and is quite incapable of introspection. Emotions excites his imagination and possesses great openness and truthfulness of nature.

Othello s’ too much trust on Iago causes his tragedy. Iago works against and conspires against Othello. He starts breaching in Othello-Desdemona s’ love. Not knowing the fact Othello shows his complete trust on Iago. Othello has been convinced of Iago s’ knowledge and wisdom of human relations and personalities and their nature.

Othello is easily trapped by others. He is trapped easily by Iago. He loves Cassio, but his confidence in him is betrayed. He loves Desdemona and his love in her is also seemingly betrayed by her.
Summing up the discussion, we can say that thug Othello is a man of great character, yet he has some weaknesses which cause his tragedy. Despite his weak points he is a worth loving and is a character of great stature.

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