Othello is one of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies. It is a tragic story about how a human mind can be manipulated to its devastation. Othello is a general in the service of Venice, and he elopes with Desdemona, the senator’s daughter. Iago is Othello’s friend, who is incredibly jealous of Michael Cassio as he is promoted to the position of personal lieutenant by Othello. So Iago begins an evil and malicious plan against all.
Othello is undoubtedly a brilliant piece of literature and theater, but is it right to argue that Othello is the hero and Iago is the villain? Isn’t Othello’s insecurity a villain as well? Sometimes, we think so lowly of ourselves that we cannot see or believe that someone might see highly of us.
Othello has fears bred from the insecurity of being a black man in an alien white society. Iago is a sociopath motivated by jealousy and rage. Othello cannot see the reality of the evil beneath, and instead misinterprets each frank gesture of his devoted wife as proof of an adulteress. This is Othello’s fatal error, and both Desdemona and Othello himself pay for it.