Othello is Solely Responsible for his Downfall in Shakespeare's Othello

I believe Iago has nothing to do with Othello's downfall as Othello is an easily mislead man who is easily influenced. Not only did Iago not directly say Desdemona was having an affair, he neither didn’t give proof to confirm the rumours. By Othello believing the lies, it surfaces his inability to trust and have faith in his own wife. Othello is written by William Shakespeare and was set in Cyprus and Venice during the 16th century. It is about a well-respected military soldier who due to lies and deceits killed his wife for no reason and after turned the knife towards himself. The play illustrates how much one could be polluted in such little time; with the ‘facts’ based upon suspicions and assumptions from a source who was determined to kill him. Venice is a town in where Othello and Desdemona wed. It was convenient for the beginning part of the play as it was one of the most powerful cities of the time. It had a thriving atmosphere and was noted for the pleasures it offered in the way of arts and music. However, Cyprus is an alternative to Venice. It is a foreign, strange exotic place which is desolated and has a lot of open space. Since the war finished before it begun, the main focus reverts to Othello and Desdemona. 

Iago is introduced to the audience as a jealous man who finds faults in others, pointing out the missing qualities in him. He is seen as a trouble maker as he wants to go and disturb a resting man to start a commotion.
‘Call up her father.
Rouse him. Make after him, Poison his delight,
Proclaim him in the streets. Incense her kinsmen,’
He is a sneaky and two-faced character as when he proposes his exit, he explains his plan; to show signs of loyalty and affection, even it it’s just an act. 
‘I must show out a flag and sign of love,
Which is indeed a sign.’
As an audience, the first impression we get of Iago is he is a jealous man but can sometimes be making a good point. But we can’t make a final judgement as his true characteristics have not yet surfaced. We learn through Iago that Othello is a terrible man as he supposedly stole Brabantio’s innocent daughter, Desdemona, and married her during the night; with the use of witchcraft and black magic to posses her into marrying him as Brabantio says;
‘O thou foul thief, where hast thou stowed my daughter?
Damned as thou art, thou hast enchanted her!’
We learn Othello through Iago that he is an easy target to manipulate because he is so open:
‘And will as tenderly be led by th’ nose
As asses are.’
Othello can be lead into anything just because he believes everybody is a good honest person. In some cases, like Iago’s, this is a bad thing as he can be fooled easily by false assumptions. He also says he is an open and a straightforward person.
“The Moor is of free and open nature 
That thinks men honest that but seem to be so…”
He is approachable and straight forward man who supposedly has favourites, unfair, and always and must have his own way. We soon find out that this is false by the way Othello presents himself in front of the duke. By Othello obtaining these characteristics, he can be easily fooled and persuaded, which Iago acts upon. We find out Othello is a soldier. Being a soldier, you will also acquire the nature such as always shouting, commanding and bad mannered. We find out that Othello is exactly the opposite, very kind and polite, as he addresses the duke with a proper title, acting like a senator or noble man. 
“Most potent, grave and reverend seigniors,
My very noble and approved good masters...”
And also shows respect. He is a well spoken man and is displayed when he talks to the duke defending himself. He uses no curses or bad language and speaks simply. 
“Rude am I in my speech,
And little blessed with the soft phrase of peace...”
He shows his truthfulness and how undemanding he is in act 1 scene 3 when being accused of using witchcraft on Desdemona. He is very straight-forward, not bribing anyone or his wife to back him up as he even says if Desdemona has anything bad to say about him, they can sentence him to death; a very brave man. However, Brabantio, Desdemona's father is supposed to be a senator who is thought to be well mannered, well spoken, reasonable and unbiased, but in act 1 scene 3, he acts like a ruffian. He is the one shouting and making accusations and being rude. When the duke asks him what the matter is, he shouts ‘my daughter’ as if something terrible happened to her that they even questioned if she was dead. Othello, as a character, is open and straightforward person; making it easier for him to be used. He is lead easily because he sees everyone as a good person; has nothing bad to say about anyone. This happens because of Iago’s hatred for him and the fact he married Desdemona, and the jealousy and rage he had against him for picking Michael Cassio over him. From Othello’s few monologues, we can tell he didn’t fully believe the fact Desdemona loved him and starts to question why he even got married. He also begins to put his trust in Iago more and more and begins to consider what Iago was saying is true. This is only the beginning as he only doubts the possibilities. But about a minute later, he has been totally brainwashed and is certain Desdemona is cheating on him. He contemplates why she would cheat on him and surfacing his true feelings about marriage and a moors life. At this point Othello is not able to make his mind up and tries convincing himself otherwise when he sees Desdemona. He also thinks why he may have lost her but as soon as he lays eyes on her, he rejects his suspicions. This plays into Iago's hands perfectly as this is the type of things he wants to be in Othello’s head, and since it is, he can put his plan in action and get his revenge. Overall Othello is responsible for his own fate as he allowed himself to be manipulated and didn’t stick to his morals and values, like a true soldier should. He could have prevented it all by no believing and asking his wife the truth. 

Desdemona is introduced to us readers as a rebel as she ran off with a black man to get married without her father’s consent. She was the daughter of the Venetian senator Brabantio. Stereotypically, she is pure and meek but others will say she is determined and self-possessed. She is capable of defending her marriage, arguing with Iago, and responding with pride to Othello's jealousy. Her father describes her as a good girl, quiet and obedient. Brabantio talks of her as if she is too young and delicate to make her own decisions. 
“A maiden never bold
Of spirit so still and quiet...”
On the other hand, by her running away in the first place and marrying a black man, she is already being disobedient towards her father and showing him no respect at all. When she was brought into the courtroom to testify for Othello, she chooses Othello over her father; just as her mother did over her father, and when he partially disowns her, she doesn’t plead his forgiveness.
‘But here’s my husband.
And so much duty as my mother showed
To you, preferring you before her father,
So much I challenge that I may profess
Due to the Moor my lord.’
She then chooses to go wherever Othello goes, instead of staying in her father’s house, even if he wouldn’t allow it. 
‘That I did love the Moor to live with him,…
Let me go with him’
By Desdemona fighting for what she wants instead of letting her father control her, she is showing her boldness as a woman and becoming more courageous. Later on in the play, when Cassio is demoted, she is firm about her decision to get his job back for him whatever it takes and at every given moment, pesters Othello about the matter. But she still keeps her title as a wife and submits to Othello and obeys him, whatever his mood.
‘Assure thee,
If I do vow a friendship, I’ll perform it
To the last article. My lord shall never rest,
I’ll watch him tame and talk him out of patience….
For thy solicitor shall rather die
Than give thy cause away.’
To other people she is still a little girl, but by her actions, she proves herself a woman. Othello’s downfall can be attributed to her by the way she was being sneaky about things, i.e. the way she went about trying to get Cassio promoted again. The secret meetings and talks could be seen as an affair if one didn’t have a clue what they were really about. The willpower she had for Cassio was great but could be viewed differently. She made it believable in Othello's eyes that she was having an affair with Michael and that made it easier for Othello to believe Iago’s lies. This is unreasonable because it is not fair that one should automatically jump to conclusions especially as she was trying to do a good deed for a friend who helped her meet her husband. Othello takes Iago more seriously than his own wife, and although she questions, he still chooses not to ask her about her mischievousness. 

In conclusion, I feel that Othello is to blame for his downfall completely because he could have prevented the deaths of three people including him from happening by not letting rumours and assumptions getting the best of him and having faith in his wife. If he had even bothered to ask Desdemona if any of what Iago said about her was true, he could have seen what a distasteful man Iago really was and not have been fooled and driven to insanity and Desdemona could have at least justified herself properly. He must have had the same doubts in his head from the beginning of the relationship as he instantly believed the lies, because if he hadn’t, he would have questioned Iago more than once. Jealously is a powerful motive.

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