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Courtney Schrader

Hour 6
1 December 2014
Othello Character Analysis
Othellos character traits in scene one of act four is nearly the opposite if his character
traits in the beginning of the play and the people around him are beginning to notice. In this
scene Othello is jealous, vengeful, and conflicted towards his wife and what he thinks she has
done. Othellos tragic flaw is his jealousy as it leads to his vengefulness and his mixed emotions
towards his wife.
Othellos jealousy consumes him. Mostly spurred on by Iagos stories and lies Othello
begins to think that his wife is cheating on him with his lieutenant, Cassio. He asks Iago multiple
times hath he said anything? to try and see if Cassio has said that he is seeing Desdemona,
Othellos wife, he thinks that if Cassio says that hes been with Desdemona that he will have
proof of her infidelity. He even spies on Cassio as he talks with Iago to see if he can get even
more proof of Desdemonas unfaithfulness. When he sees Cassio has the handkerchief that he
had given Desdemona he is furious and once Cassio leaves he goes to Iago asking how do I kill
him Iago. With the proof that he thinks he has of his wifes affair his jealousy turns into
vengeance, and not just for Cassio.
In a jealous rage Othello vows vengeance upon Desdemona and Cassio by deciding to
have them both killed. Iago promises to kill Cassio, and Othello vows to kill Desdemona. Othello

wants to kill Desdemona with poison but Iago convinces him to strangle her saying Do it not
with poison, strangle her in her bed, even the bed she hath contaminated. In Othellos anger he
hits his wife in front of a senator who had previously thought Othello a calm and peaceful man.
Othellos acts shock the senator and he says to Othello My lord, this would not be believed in
Venice, though I should swear I saw't: 'tis very much: make her amends; she weeps. However
Othello refuses to apologize and in doing that he tarnishes his reputation in the senate.
Othello is also conflicted in scene four of the play. He frequently lists her good qualities
when he is thinking of killing her. It almost seems as though he is trying to talk himself out of
killing her, however added input from Iago helps him decide that he must kill her. He says Hang
her! I do but say what she is: so delicate with her needle: an admirable musician: O! she will sing
the savageness out of a bear: of so high and plenteous wit and invention: Othello sees so much
good in her and loves her for that good, but at the same time he is beginning to hate her because
of the stories and false proof he has been getting from Iago that she is unfaithful and in love his
lieutenant. However of these conflicting emotions his jealousy and mistrust lead him to feel more
strongly that she is bad and that in his eyes she needs to die, regardless of how much he thinks he
loves her because he thinks she has done him wrong.
Jealousy over his wifes alleged affair leads Othello to conflicting feelings of love and the
need for revenge upon his wife for her wrongdoings. If it were not for Othellos extreme jealousy
of his wifes affair he would never have felt the need to kill her in order to get revenge, this
shows that the tragic flaw of Othello is his jealousy, if not for it the story of Othello may not
have been a tragedy.