Othello is the main character of the tragedy by William Shakespeare, Othello. Even though, Shakespeare based his tragedy on Giovanni Battista Giraldi’s story, A Moorish Captain, his tragedy nevertheless is radically different from its original source. The main difference is the nature of its central character. Giraldi’s hero, spurred on by the machinations of his servant, he treacherously kills his wife, and does not do it himself; he uses the services of the same servant to avoid all sorts of suspicions. And even during the trial he denied he committed the crime. Based on an existing plot, Shakespeare transforms it so that rather commonplace adventure-crime story acquires the features of high tragedy spirit.
Instead of a story of crime Shakespeare wrote the story of a man different from the rest, not only by the skin color, but also by his mental qualities: honesty, integrity and children’s credulity. Their love with Desdemona is natural, and because it has all these qualities, they are as close to each other as Romeo and Juliet or Macbeth couple. Othello is a brave warrior, an invincible general, and at the same time ingenuous child, unaware of the existence in the world of such human qualities as meanness, deceit, and hypocrisy. He doesn’t even think that he can be cheated that is why he easily believed in Iago’s stories – the betrayal of his faithful lieutenant Cassio, of infidelity of his beloved wife Desdemona. He can’t live with this feeling and knowledge. He can’t pretend and become a perpetual spy, spying on his wife. After learning as he thinks about his wife’s infidelity, Othello changes: his tenderness turns into rudeness, his credulity turns in suspicion. In her every word and gesture he sees deception. His only liberation is the decision he comes to – the murder of Desdemona. But after killing her, Othello learns that she was innocent, that they were both the victims of the monstrous intrigues that were skillfully woven by Iago.
Othello calls himself an honest murderer. These words are the key to the perfect murder: a man, for whom honor is above all, could not exist side by side with the defect, could not afford dishonesty to be unpunished. Having realized the full horror of his deed, he kills himself, cuts his throat with a dagger.
The musical drama of Othello’s character is an alternating of series of contrasting conditions: uncontrolled anger, overwhelming tenderness, deep depression, bottomless sorrow, and full consternation. The leitmotif of love, triumphant in the final, by ecstatic is close to the theme of Tristan and Isolde in Wagner’s interpretation.
Othello is the main character of the tragedy by William Shakespeare, Othello. Even though, Shakespeare based his tragedy on Giovanni Battista Giraldi’s story, A Moorish Captain, his tragedy nevertheless is radically different from its original source. The main difference is the nature of its central character.