Analyze Othello from the protagonist's point of view.

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The protagonist of the play is Othello. Unlike the audience, he never gets to overhear Iago's thoughts. We do, so we know Iago is evil. This is an example of dramatic irony: we as an audience know more than Othello, who thinks Iago is a good person.

Looking at events from Othello's point of view, we see that Iago has served with him a long time. He is a person Othello feels he can trust and rely on. As a male warrior used to the company of other soldiers, Othello can relax and feel comfortable in Iago's presence. Iago, he thinks, has his back as a fellow soldier.

If Othello can relax and unwind around Iago, Desdemona is another story. Othello is not used to being around women. Desdemona is beautiful and seems to love him, but can she really love an older, black man, he wonders? Iago, who Othello believes has his back, keeps trying to hint to him that maybe he should be more suspicious of her and Cassio. Iago is unwilling to say anything directly. However, Othello understands that he obviously knows far more than he is letting on. What is it that Iago won't tell him? These secrets make Othello very uneasy. From his point of view, he has to wonder if the other men are laughing at him behind his back because of Desdemona.

We can analyze Othello as seeing Iago's reluctance to tell him what is going on as loyalty: his fellow soldier is trying to protect him from an ugly truth. When Othello does, from his own perspective, drag the "truth" out of Iago, his rage at the betrayal is boundless. He has no reason to disbelieve a word Iago suggests and so jumps into what he knows: protecting his honor by killing the woman who betrayed him and made him a laughingstock.

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