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Othellos monologue and description of himself in Act 1 Scene 3 of the play Othello implies his slight

sense of insecurity as he constantly strives to assimilate into Venetian society and maintain his
position of power and reputation amongst the Senators. It is these preoccupations of upholding his
nobility, along with his naivety, passionate emotions, and interactions with the power driven and
manipulative Iago, which ultimately drive him to his physical, moral, and psychological deterioration.

Othellos patriarchal values and obsessions with maintaining his social status have resulted in his
negligence of forming a proper relationship with Desdemona, leading to unavoidable tragedy.
Othellos language rude am I in my speech depicts his modest and self-deprecating nature, as he is
well aware of his eloquence and articulateness but chooses to flatter the Senators in order to prove
his worthiness of Desdemona. The metaphoric and poetic phrases for since these arms of mine had
seven years pith some nine moons wasted portray his dignity and somewhat arrogant hubris as
he establishes himself as pompous and important, and the alliteration and balance in broil and
battle evokes respect and admiration as he promotes his military status. However, despite the
characterisation of Othello as a brave and valiant individual who is more fair than black, he
knows little of this great world and is highly inexperienced in developing interpersonal
relationships. This notion is further conveyed through the imagery of a flinty and steel couch of
war, which suggests that Othello is only accustomed to the hardships of war, unsuited to a life of
domesticity and intimate relationships. His excessive pride and self confidence is insinuated through
the use of asyndeton my parts, my title, and my perfect soul where he defines his social standing
as the centre of his existence and only appreciates Desdemona as a fair, gentle and perfect
woman to add to his honour. He insists that he has won his (Brabantio) daughter, this
objectification stripping Desdemona of her personal qualities and power. Othello takes a cowardly
approach to his marriage, never asking Desdemona for any explanations and being quick to label her
as an imprudent strumpet and whore to protect his wounded ego. In summary, Othellos
fixations in maintaining his honour and status compounded with his strong patriarchal beliefs
contribute to his lack of trust in Desdemona and play a role in his tragedy and downfall.

From the characterisations and interactions between the plays protagonists, Othello and Iago, the
audience becomes increasingly aware of Othellos tragic flaw, fragility of his mind and how this plays
a role in the downfall of this heroic individual. Iago is a villain and master at exploiting any
situation for his own personal gain, admitting that in following him [Othello], I follow but myself.
Through the use of innuendo Ha! I like not that! Iago plants misconceptions in Othellos mind,
attacking him whilst Othello is distracted by military matters and maintaining control. Furthermore,
his purposeful questioning and interrogation of Othello Did Michael Cassio, when you wooed my
lady, know of your love? generates doubts and builds insecurities to consume his mind and drive
him to madness. Othellos free and open nature along with his nave mindset that men should
be what they seem leaves him vulnerable to Iago who will pour this pestilence into his ear. Iagos
plans to corrupt Othello Because Othello thinks men as honest, he is unquestioningly accepts
Iagos unreliable proof that Desdemona has misplaced his handkerchief, a symbol of their love. As
a result of Iagos convincing stories, Othello claims I do not think but Desdemonas honest, the use
of negatives and odd sentence structure mirroring his newfound doubt and implying the success of
Iagos tactics. The concept of human fragility is conveyed through Othellos statement I have a pain
upon my forehead here in which a double entendre is implied; Othello has been cuckolded but also,
his physical state has deteriorated due to excess emotion and anguish. Iagos use of bestial imagery
and similes were they as prime as goats, as hot as monkeys allows him to provoke Othello into
condemning and describing Desdemona as a lewd minx and fair devil. Therefore, through
Othellos communications with Iago, he becomes fuelled with uncertainty and experiences downfall
due to his ability to be controlled by imagined wrongs.

Although it can be argued that Iagos malicious intentions act as the driving force for Othellos
downfall, it is Othellos succumbing to his passionate emotions and loss of rational thought that
essentially prompts his inner turmoils and results in his ruin. His initial eloquence, confidence and
high stature are conveyed in his language most potent, grave and reverend seigniors whereby the
sophisticated speech reflects his self-control and admirable state of mind, however, as time
progresses his language quickly deteriorate with his sanity. Iagos metaphor of the green-eyed
monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on provides an accurate description of Othello who
becomes a powerless piece of meat in the face of jealousy. The use of tricolon in Othellos words
Farewell the tranquil mind! Farewell content! Farewell plumed troops Farewell! Othellos
occupations gone is symbolic of the extent of his loss of honour, reputation, and most importantly,
his rationality. Othellos frantic repetition of it is the cause demonstrates his intense desperation as
he searches for justification by stating that Desdemona will betray more men if it was not for his
act of murder. Moreover, his oxymoronic description of himself as a honourable murderer further
emphasises his deluded psyche as he rapidly loses his sense of morality and humanity. He declares
that he is of one not easily jealous, portraying his lack of self-awareness and enlightenment and
serving to express irony as it is his jealousy that enables him to react to Iagos schemes and drive him
to madness. The ferocious imagery tear her [Desdemona] all to pieces, detailing Othellos violent
desires, reflects his decline into savagery, as he is no longer in control of his emotions and escape the
intense jealousy that dominates his thoughts. His exclamation and disjointed language Death and
damnation! O! exhibits his intense emotions, demonstrating the consequences that have resulted
due to his infection with jealousy.

In conclusion, there is a combination of differing factors that have contributed to the degeneration
and tragedy of Othello and the description that Othello offers is only a single cause of his demise; his
personal flaws of hubris, passion and psychological vulnerability play a vital role in his transformation
from a noble man into a man perplexed in the extreme. Moreover, the malevolent scheme
intricately crafted by the sadistic and diabolical Iago serves as a catalyst for Othellos misfortunes,
but it is Othellos decision to believe Iagos words that ultimately determines his fate.

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