Othello as a tragedy of intrigues

Othello (1622) is a tragedy, written by William Shakespeare (1564-1616) that is full of intrigues. It is one of the most painfully exciting and most terrible tragedies among all Shakespearean tragedies. The story of the play begins with external conflict, but the conflicts are soon internalized.  

More Notes: Othello

In this tragedy, we find that Intrigue ruins the conjugal happiness between Othello and Desdemona. Iago tries to destroy the marital happiness of Othello and Desdemona through a conspiracy. Seeing Othello’s excessive love for Desdemona, he becomes jealous and plans to destroy it. He uses Cassio as his tool. He arouses Othello’s suspicion and jealousy by falsely reporting Desdemona’s love and unwanted intimacy with Cassio. Iago advises Othello to get rid of the jealousy in his mind. He says:  

Beware, my lord, of jealousy. It is the green monster, which doth mock. 

As a part of the intrigue, Iago creates numerous traps to deceive people, especially Othello. He is able to convince Othello that his wife, Desdemona, is cheating on him and making a love affair with General Cassio. Iago seems that it is not difficult for him to make a conspiracy against Othello because he trusts him so much. Iago reveals to Othello that Desdemona has given Cassio his handkerchief. He describes I don’t know, but such a handkerchief, I’m sure it’s your wife’s handkerchief that you gave her. Today I saw Cassio wiping his beard with it.  hearing Othello naturally feels angry about Desdemona.  Iago says: 

I know not that, but such a handkerchief I am sure it was your wifes did I today See Cassio wipe his beard with. 

This intrigue leads to a major complexity in the marriage of Othello and Desdemona and finally, Othello killed Desdemona by strangulation. 

More Notes: William Shakespeare

Besides, Iago’s conspiracy against Roderigo, the conspiracy in the place of Cassio, the conspiracy against the love affair and marital life of Othello and Desdemona, and finally the conspiracy against Cassio’s life are vivid examples of intrigue in tragedy. Above all, these conspiracies prove that Othello is a tragedy of intrigue which brings a tragic end to the tragedy. 

Rashedul Islam
Rashedul Islam

Hi, This is Rashedul. Researcher and lecturer of English literature and Linguistics.

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