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Considered to be one of the best classic novels of all times, Othello follows the structure of a typical
Shakespearean tragedy written in 1603. The protagonist of the novel, Othello, the moor of Venice falls
prey to conspiracies of his subordinates and competitors. The ending of this play is heart wrenching and
the readers end up sympathizing with Othello’s character. William Shakespeare’s Othello comprises Five
acts each playing a pivotal role in the development of the plot.
The story opens up with a conversation between Roderigo, Desdemona’s suitor, and Iago who is an
ensign. Both of them have their own reasons of animosity with Othello, they pledge to seek a revenge
against him. As the story proceeds, it is revealed that Othello and Desdemona, the Senator’s daughter, are
secretly married. Rodergio who had asked Desdemona’s father for her hand in marriage, plans to get her
by his evil strategies accompanied by Iago who is displeased with Othello as he has promoted Cassio
above him. The seed of doubt is sown in Othello’s mind towards the end of third act where Desdemona’s
mistakenly loses her handkerchief (a gift given by Othello) which is later found by Emilia, Iago’s wife.
Iago lures Emilia to give him the handkerchief as he wishes to use it for the execution of his evil plans.
He plants the handkerchief in Cassio’s possession implying to Othello that Desdemona and Cassio are
having an illicit affair. Iago later converses with Othello and asks him to notice Cassio’s reactions when
his affair is mentioned. Othello mistakes the conversation to be about Desdemona whereas it actually is
about Bianca, Cassio’s beloved. Bianca also accuses Cassio of gifting her a second hand gift. All of this
further influences Othello’s already skeptical mind and he grows hostile towards his wife Desdemona.
In his pursuit of Desdemona, Roderigo blindly acts on Iago’s idea of killing Cassio who somehow
manages to survive. This fatal fight in the street attracts the attention of Lodovico and Gratiano who rush
to help Cassio. Fearing the revelation of his plans, Iago silently stabs Roderigo.
In the last act, Othello comes to confront Desdemona and eventually kills her in the bed where they once
made love. Emilia comes into the scene and reveals the truth of events. On learning the truth, Othello
instantly regrets his actions but it is already too late to repent his actions. Overpowered by the guilt, he
commits suicide.
Othello by William Shakespeare highlights the protagonist’s Hamartia (the tragic flaw) that ultimately
becomes the reason of hero’s downfall. Unfaithfulness and jealousy go hand in hand in this story.
Infuriated by the mere thought if an illicit affair of his wife with another man, Othello goes to the extent
of strangling his own beloved. This Shakespearean tragedy is a must read for every literature lover. The
famous play has been enacted and published over and over and is still considered to be one of the best
plays ever written in the history of English Literature.

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