So, I know this is technically a play, but the first time I experienced it was as a book in English class. The funny thing about this story is, my boyfriend loves it and I get very angry every time I try to read it and see what he sees. I don’t really know why he loves it, though if I had to guess it has something to do with something that happened before we got together, a betrayal and such.
The story should be pretty well known so we’ll do the blurb thing again. Othello is the only African guy in Venice, he’s a general in some army and everyone calls him the Moor. He has eloped with Desdemona sometime before the opening act of the story/play. This dude Iago, is pissed at him for promoting a younger guy Micheal Cassio over him. But Othello thinks Iago is a friend and trusted advisor. Anyway, Iago tells this other guy who wanted to marry Desdemona about them eloping and lies, saying Othello slept with his wife Emilia and that’s why he’s mad at him. He sends this guy, Roderigo to Desdemona’s dad, Barbantio, who also didn’t know about the marriage. Barbantio gets pissed and says he’s going to behead Othello, because apparently his chill machine is broken (that’s an inside joke, sorry). In the meantime, Iago had gone to Othello to tell him that Barbantio was coming for him, thus securing his place as trusted advisor I guess. The Duke’s guard are waiting when Barbantio shows up and no blood is shed. Then they find out Turks are about to attack Cyprus and since Othello is the general he’s gotta go lead the army. Barbantio tries to say Othello used witchcraft on his daughter, but after explaining how the two fell in love and Desdemona confirming that she loves Othello, nobody believe it was witchcraft. Then Barbantio plants the first seed of doubt in Othello’s mind, saying she will deceive him since she deceived her father. Othello leaves to defend Cyprus. In Act 2 the Turkish fleet is destroyed by a storm and people begin celebrating while Othello leaves to be with Desdemona. Iago persuades Roderigo to start an altercation with a drunk Cassio thus leading to Cassio’s demotion. Then Iago tells Cassio to talk to Desdemona about persuading Othello to give him his rank back. In Act 3 Iago convinces Othello to be suspicious of Cassio and Desdemona and Emilia, who is Desdemona’s handmaiden takes a handkerchief (the first gift Othello gave Desdemona) and gives it to Iago at his request, thought she doesn’t understand why. In Act 4 Iago plants the kerchief as evidence of the affair, and then has Othello overhear Cassio talking about Bianca the girl he’s actually having an affair with so he thinks he’s talking about Desdemona. Finally Othello resolves to kill Desdemona and asks Iago to kill Cassio. In Act 5 Iago tries to have Roderigo kill Cassio, but he fails and Iago must kill him when people come at Cassio’s cries for help so that he won’t betray Iago. Othello confronts Desdemona and pretty much the entire end of the story is a bloodbath.
Okay, so if you know the story, you know how it ends. The ending isn’t really what pisses me off the most. What pisses me off is the same thing that pisses me off about Romeo and Juliet. Communication could solve this whole problem. Also, why did Othello marry Desdemona if he thought her capable of cheating? The lack of trust is so messed up. Not to mention, that Iago guy is a major asshole (excuse my language). The whole situation just pissed me off so decently. I spent the whole story frustrated with these people. Like, why aren’t you talking to each other? These people in Shakespeare plays are all insane and way too all or nothing for my taste. I mean, yes, it was another time but I just can’t wrap my head around that mentality to be honest. These characters just annoyed the crap out of me.