Power in Othello- Character Analysis

879 words 4 pages
Power in Othello:
Othello, the principle character, at the beginning seems to have power- whether it is physical, psychological, political or military. He is portrayed to the audience as a symbol of power and strength. As an experienced soldier, a General to be precise, Othello has had little experience with women. Even though he is a high ranking military official, he is less respected because of his dark skin and being a foreigner. His stature and tone of voice, along with his self-confidence and belief, lead the audience to think of Othello as the main representation of power in the play. However, further into the play, Othello's power seems to diminish, revealing his insecurity and susceptibility. He is very naive and
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Emilia’s character shows greater development in the 4th scene, where she declares that she would be unfaithful in marriage in the right circumstances, which shows less naivety than Desdemona who barely even believes adulterous people even exist. In the final act, Emilia reveals her true loyalty by stating that she gave Iago the handkerchief, a revelation of proof that Desdemona is not unfaithful. For doing so, Emilia is stabbed by her husband Iago, and with her dying breath she sings the song Desdemona told her, “Willow”.

Michael Cassio: Cassio is Othello's lieutenant- he was chosen as lieutenant over Iago, much to Iago’s disappointment. Cassio’s power is shown more as an intellectual sort of power, rather than a physical or psychological power. However, Cassio is easily manipulated and often the victim of Iago’s schemes. In act 2, he becomes drunk at the stealthy hands of Iago, and begins a fight with roderigo, in which he injures him and Montano, and loses his ‘power’ as Othello’s lieutenant. To the audience, Cassio does not seem like a major source of power, but rather a source of knowledge perhaps- that is until his drunken brawl, however. Iago then later manipulates him to talk about his mistress Bianca, knowing that Othello was secretly listening. However, Othello believed Cassio was talking about his affairs with Desdemona. This, again shows Cassio’s vulnerability.

“Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them.”


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