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Othello’s Gullibility

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by Robert Shively

Othello is a very courageous and intelligent man; however, his weakness- gullibility, is one that causes issues among his peers. As a general, Othello is well respected and it his soldiers look up to him. For war, he gives inspiring speeches that want people to fight in the war under Othello’s wing. Though he may be an astonishing war leader, he allows people like Iago to get under his skin and let Othello to make a mistake that hurts his relationships: especially with Desdemona. Othello’s relationship with Desdemona quickly declines when he lets Iago torture him.

In the beginning of the play Desdemona’s father, Brabantio a Venetian Senator, is against her daughter’s relationship with Othello because of his race and age. However, this does not prevent Desdemona from loving Othello. Though the two seemed in loved at first, Iago is the one who wants to change this. His claim

“I hate the moor,

And it is thought abroad, that twixt’ my sheets,

‘Has done my office, I know not if’t be true,

But I, for mere suspicion in that kinda

Will do as if for surety.” (Act 1 Scene 3)

is the driving force to prevent Othello’s happiness. With the help of Emilia, Iago places Desdemona’s handkerchief (given to her by Othello) in Cassio’s room. When Othello discovers the handkerchief, he is enraged. This results in a terrible fight between the two. The result of the fight was Othello choking Desdemona to death with a pillow. This was Othello’s breaking point because everyone begins to think he is crazy. Seconds before Desdemona passes away her best friend, Emilia walk into the room where the death occurred. This enrages Emilia, and she shouts at Othello. Emilia and Othello’s relationship, which was already on thin ice, was destroyed by Othello’s act. After Emilia shouts at Othello, she scurries out and runs to the others who are eating. She quickly grabs attention of everyone, and tell them what Othello has done. This enrages everyone at the dinner, and everyone quickly turns against Othello. When Othello hears the news that everyone is annoyed, he quickly becomes infuriated because he feels as if he has done nothing wrong. However, Othello made the mistake of not letting Desdemona explain herself. Othello’s lack of ability to block out the criticism thrown his way is what causes him to get in trouble with the other characters.

Though Othello allows for others to get under his skin and anger him, he is still a good person on the inside. However, Othello lets people like Iago ruin his relationships and life with the other characters because he always falls for their temptations. However, some may argue that he has an anger issue, but deep down it’s his gullibility that gets him into these traps, and the solution is anger and violence.


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