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The play begins with Iago and Rodrigo, who is in love with Desdemona, conspiring to depose Othello. Rodrigo tells her father Brabantio that the Moor has eloped with his daughter. Brabantio calls the Duke to prosecute Othello, accusing him of seducing Desdemona with drugs and witchcraft. According to Brabantio’s racist view, the marriage of Desdemona to a black man is a crime against nature.
Iago, meanwhile, hates Othello because he has promoted another officer: Cassio. To get revenge, Iago persuades Rodrigo to pick a fight with the drunken Cassio and which causes him to fall into disgrace. He then asks Cassio to persuade Desdemona to intercede on his behalf. Cassio tells Othello that the relationship between Cassio and Desdemona is not innocent. Things begin to change when Emilia; Iago’s wife, discovers a handkerchief, the first gift that Othello had given Desdemona. Iago finds a way to place it into Cassio’s hands as a sign of Desdemona’s infidelity. When Othello sees it, he cannot contain his anger and he strangles Desdemona, despite her continued protests of innocence. When Emilia reveals the truth about what had really happened Othello understands the full horror of what he has done. Iago is arrested and Othello kills himself with a knife.
The main theme is jealousy but the notions of appearance and reality are also important. All these themes emerge through Iago’s character. This story shows that Iago has an ability to manipulate and control actions and situations. His intelligence is supreme. Another theme is the racism that Brabantio and Iago have towards Othello.
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