Othello and the human conditio

Othello is a play written by William Shakespeare about the tragedy of a black army general who is fatally flawed by jealousy. This human quality, this condition, is expressed through Othello; his character clearly highlights how someone morally good can also experience dark emotions. He felt guilty about resorting to ugly, barbaric means to his end despite the fact that anyone else in his position would have done the same. The main human condition in Othello is this feeling of guilt. Another aspect of this is there is a difference in the mannerism of a modern Venetian (Iago) and a primitive Moor (Othello). The difference is that to survive as a Moor, Othello has to be honest and trustworthy. This is because he needs his people to support him due to his inability to survive in any another way than resorting to primitive means. Iago, on the other hand, has no need for others to trust him. Instead, he takes advantage of other people like Roderigo to make himself rich.
At the start of the play Iago debates on why Cassio was chosen over him by Othello. Here Othello is unknown to the audience, and Iago appears to be justified in his argument. His justification comes from the fact that he has battled by Othello’s side for years, whereas Cassio is “a Florentine, … That never set a squadron in the field, … Mere prattle without practice is all his soldiership” (Iago – Act1, Scene1). While Iago’s identity is hidden, he is extremely crude in addressing Brabantio; “Even now, now, very now, an old black ram is tupping your white ewe…” (Iago – Act 1, Scene1), whereas in front of Othello he is far more respectable; “Those are the raised father and his friends; You were best go in” (Iago – Act1, Scene2). Iago is manipulative, as we see here, and back then it would have seemed odd to an English audience. To a Venetian, this currency based nature was natural, and wealth was valued more than honesty much like our modern day world.
This represen…


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