Are charecters in othello fools(Othello, Desdemona, Brabantio, Roderigo and Emilia)?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In the play 'Othello' by William Shakespeare, the author shows us several characters who make foolish choices, if that is what you mean by 'fools.' There are also some who are gullible and easily fooled by others. Othello the Moor himself, of course, comes under that category. he is easily "gulled" by the evil scheming Iago into believing the worst of his sweet new wife, because he is only too ready to doubt his own self-worth - he compares himself to youinger men of a different race. Perhaps Desdemona too is foolish to believe that she has chosen a man strong enough to defend her honour and reputation instead of choosing a man with the courage of his own convictions. You do not mention Iago - yet he too makes miscalculations about the other young men's likely actions, and also his own wife's.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

I'm not sure if you mean a fool in the classic Shakespearean sense of the word, as in court jester.  If so, then no.  But it can definitely be argued that all of the characters listed were made foolish by love or another strong emotion.

Othello felt foolish by being in love with Desdemona because he thought she was having an affair, but he was *really* made foolish by the friendship-love he had for Iago because he was so insecure in his love for Desdemona and blinded by the friendship-love he had for Iago that he believed Desdemona was having an affair.

Desdemona was so in love with Othello that even though he treated her badly and eventually killed her, she was foolish enough to think that they could somehow just work past things.

Brabantio was made foolish by his racial prejudice.  Even though he did not approve of Roderigo, he approved of Othello even less just by the virtue of his skin color and so he never approved the marriage based on that fact alone (which can also add to the argument as to why Othello became even more desperate to fit into Venetian society).

Roderigo is so blinded by his love for Desdemona, he doesn't realize that Iago is using him as a pawn in his machinations to destroy Othello.

And though Emilia is very strong willed and eventually stands up to everyone at the end, she too is blinded by love of her husband and attempts to please him by engaging in his plot, though she has no idea the depths of it.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial