The western legal court system fails to be a good model for how people come to disciplinary conclusions in real


Justice is Failed.
•Othello has a military and governmental background, so he naturally falls into a court orderly way of dealing with Iago’s suspicion. •But he conducts an investigation in an improper and incorrect manner, he allow his emotions to run to high, and persuasion takes control of the case study. •He does not lead in an objective way. Perhaps this is because the matter is so closely related to him, his marriage. •“It is not only jealousy and certainly not fear that brings Othello to act as he does. Instead, it is Othello’s total allegiance to justice. Othello dismisses Cassio from his high office with no thought of vengeance, but because it is the just thing to do. And he brings himself to hill his wife in spite of his personal feelings0he does not want to kill her, but his sense of justice demands that he do so. Similarly, when he finally discovers what he has done, he kills himself—not from shame or remorse, but as an act of justice” (Crawford).

Who’s on trial?
• The main conflict of the story, is Iago’s persuasion on Othello which ultimately convinces Othello that his wife, Desdemona has been unfaithful.

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Othello’s Courthouse

The impersonal atmosphere in the court system ignores the significance of personal relationships, emotions, and reputations.

• P: Desdemona is the most significant victim of this • E: “Reputation is an idle and most false imposition; oft got • P: “This great chop removes one of the most
without merit and lost without deserving.” Iago (Act II, Scene 3)

flaw in the court systematic process. Her love and support for her husband Othello is forgotten as her allegiance is questioned and her life is put on trial.

• I: Although he still has strong emotional ties with

poignant moments in the tragedy, when Othello recalls Desdemona’s sweet loveliness, and wavers in his murderous purpose” (Rosenberg). his wife, Desdemona, and he recently professed his love in front of the entire Venice Senate, his emotions are left out of the matter when it comes to the trial of her faithfulness. Even in the last moment before he administers her punishment, Othello fights to keep his non objective emotions at bay; he remembers the purity and kindness Desdemona has constantly displayed, but this is no match up against the hard proof against her.

Because the cases are won by the power of persuasion of lawyers and case-makers, a stress on “winning” rather than finding truth prevails in the legal system.

• P: Iago is a manipulative character who alters facts, and uses
the power of persuasion to mislead Othello’s investigation.

• E: “The Moor is of a free and open nature, That

• P: “Iago’s maipulation of the rhetoric of pity…is a
key factor in his deception of Othello” (Smith).

thinks men honest that but seem to be so, And will as tenderly be led by the nose As asses are” Iago (Act I, Scene 3)

“Iago does not undermine the system here, but, on the contrary, expresses it clearly and succinctly. Thus when he consciously employs his knowledge of the instrumental faculties in turning Othello from reasoning man into unreasoning animal, his success is more convincing than it, as one critic implies, he were to muddle through error after error to produce evil” (Curtis).
events, but in this flawed organized structure, one man like Iago has so much power over the outcome of the ultimate ruling. Lawyers paint a picture in the minds of the judge and jury much like Iago plants ideas and thoughts into Othello’s mind. He looks for Othello’s weakness in judgment and attacks.

• I: His actions are deliberate as he obscures the story and the

The emphasis on evidence and visual proof stresses logic and ignores the social context of the situation of interpersonal interpretation • • •

P: Othello is not successful in uncovering the truth although E: “It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul. Let me not name

the material evidence supports his conclusion. He assumes that his wife, Desdemona, has been unfaithful once he sees Cassio with her handkerchief, but this is not true. Othello forgets the context in which this evidence was supplied to him. it to you, the stars. It is the cause. Yet I’ll not shed her blood, nor scar that whiter skin of hers than snow, and smooth as monumental alabaster. Yet she must die, else she’ll betray more men” Othello (Act V, Scene 2).

P:“The Moor’s travesty of justice results from the delusion of
his senses. In the source, the Moor demands to see the proof which will reinforce the suspicions aroused through his ear” (Adams). “As he develops the proposition that “seeing is believing,” Shakespeare transforms from his source a term denoting mere physical eyesight into a metaphor of spiritual vision and the lack of it” (Adams).

I: Othello is blinded by the hunt for clues and justice that he

does not take time to digest the information that he is being presented with. He jumps to conclusions. He wholeheartedly believes the leads that he has been shown, and does not weigh is own ideas and gut feelings with the rest of the case material.

• There is a false trust of order and correct results that comes from the court system layout, but this process fails Othello. He was taught to analyze visually, and he learned to put feelings aside. By the tragic ending of the novel, the reader observes that decisions cannot be made solely on the strength of proof and argument, but rather with the consideration of instinct, internal consideration, and a conscience “gut feelings”.

Works Cited
Adams, Maurinne S. “’Ocular Proof’ in Othello and Curtis, Jared R. “The ‘Speculative and Offic’d its Sources.” JSTOR. Web. 7 Dec. 2009. http:// Instruments’: Reason and Lov in Othello.” JSTOR. Web. 7 Dec. 2009.

Rosenberg, Marvin. “Reputation, Oft Lost Without Deserving…” JSTOR. Web. 7 Dec. 2009. http://

Smith, Shawn. “Love, Pity Deception in Othello.” Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Web. 4 Dec. 2009.

Crawford, Jerry L. “Othello: Total Allegiance to Justice”. Midsummer Magazine. 1995.