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In Othello, what are the strengths and weaknesses of the main characters Othello, Iago,...

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jones12 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 20, 2009 at 5:45 AM via web

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In Othello, what are the strengths and weaknesses of the main characters Othello, Iago, Desdemona, and Emilia that contribute to the tragic ending?

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cetaylorplfd | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted April 16, 2010 at 6:03 AM (Answer #1)

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Overall, the characters sense of pride and self-doubt lead to the tragic ending in the play.  Othello does not have enough pride in himself to believe that his wife could remain faithful to him, and the doubt that this creates leads him to believe Iago and blame Desdemona for having an affair with Cassio. 

Iago has too much pride and does not see why Cassio should have gotten the title of lieutenant instead of him.  He doubts his own strength as an officer and rather than accepting Othello's decision, Iago decides to seek revenge.

Desdemona does not understand her husband and cannot understand why he would have such thoughts about her being unfaithful.

And Emilia tries to be a good wife to Iago by doing his bidding and only comes to her senses after it is much too late. 

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