The Concept of Hurting Loved Ones in Othello

Othello by William Shakespeare is about a black man named Othello and his tragic story. He marries a white woman named Desdemona. Iago, Othello’s ensign, is an evil and deceitful person who wants to ruin Othello’s marriage and get revenge. He is angry that Othello gave the lieutenant position to Cassio, rather than to him. The story is about how Iago’s plan unfolds and is executed. Iago’s plan works until the end when Emilia and Roderigo reveal lago’s plan. Throughout this entire story, Iago’s plan causes many people to hurt the ones they love. The central idea of this story is that people hurt the ones they love. In other words, people weirdly hurt loved ones even though they love them dearly. Shakespeare uses the literary element conflict to develop the central idea.

The central idea that humans hurt the ones they love is proven in the story when Othello kills Desdemona, his wife. In act 5, scene 2, line 105, Othello is seen “smother[ing] her.” Othello inhumanely killed his dear wife because he thought that she cheated on him due to the lies that lago planted in his head. When Othello does this, it shows his conflict with Desdemona. He hates her enough right now at the moment that he will kill her. Obviously, one will not kill somebody unless they have a conflict with them. However, Othello truly did love his wife but was so blinded by anger at the moment. In the beginning of the book, it is shown how he really loved her when he fights for his marriage with her while others are so against it. But when Iago plants lies in Othello’s head about Desdemona cheating on him, he creates a conflict with her and at the end kills her. He kills the one person who he wanted to share his life with, the one person who he truly loved and married.

Furthermore, Othello continues to hurt the ones he loves throughout the story, proving the central idea to be true when he is glad at the news of Cassio’s death. Othello says on act 5, scene 1, lines 34-35, “Tis he! O brave Iago, honest and just, that hast such noble sense of thy friend’s wrong!” Othello hears Cassio crying out in pain and he is happy. He thinks that Iago has kept his word to kill Cassio and Othello is overjoyed. This now motivates him to kill Desdemona. This shows how Othello hates Cassio because he is happy that Cassio is dying. Othello hates Cassio, hence his conflict with him because he thinks that Cassio slept with his wife. However, Othello did not always hate Cassio and did not have a conflict with him from the beginning. Othello trusted and loved Cassio very much and this is proven when Othello gives Cassio the lieutenant position. This position is very important, and it makes Cassio, Othello’s right hand man. Othello trusted and loves Cassio enough to give him this kind of high position. However, now that he thinks Cassio slept with Desdemona, he hates Cassio. He hates Cassio and his conflict with him is so bad that the news of Cassio’s death brings him joy. Othello trusted and loved Cassio enough to give the lieutenant position but now, he hates and hurts his most trusted right hand man.

To conclude, in Othello, by William Shakespeare, Shakespeare conveys the central idea that humans hurt the ones they love to the audience through the main character, Othello. Shakespeare uses the literary element conflict to further develop this central idea. Through the narrator’s conflict with his wife, Desdemona and his lieutenant, Cassio, we can see how humans hurt the ones they love. Othello kills his wife and he is happy at the news of Cassio’s death. He loved them both previously but hurt the both. We as humans can learn from Othello’s actions that we should trust our loved ones before acting out rashly. If problems exist, we should talk to them.

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The Concept of Hurting Loved Ones in Othello. (2022, Sep 30). Retrieved July 16, 2024 , from

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