Discuss the theme of betrayal as a prominent theme in shakespeare's "Othello".  

bhawanipur | Student

In the play 'Othello' by William Shakespeare, Othello betrayed Dessemona Even though Othello was a moor, Desdemona loved him because of his valour and eloped away with him. Her kinsman disliked the action and yet she accompanied Othello to Cyprus. She trusted him most and so submitted to a person hated by her kinsman.

Shakespeare had taken the plot of Othello from 'Hecatommithi' or 'A hundred tales' by Giovanibatista Giraldi Chinthio, an Italian novelist. There are one hundred stories and divided into ten decades. This is the seventh story in the third decade. In the story the ensign(Iago) fwll in love with Desdemona. But she didnot pay any attention to his love. The ensign felt insulted and vowed to prove her infidelity. Thus we find that Shakespeare had used the source of intrigue he found in the Italian story by Cinthio.

Desdemona was trustworthy. She didnot betray Othello even though he was a man of black complexion. On the other hand Othello became a victim of the trigue hatched by Iago whether he was not promoted to the higher rank as Shakespeare shows in the play or for not responding to his love as shown in the original Italian story. He had no firm faith in Desdemona and so Iago could ply his as he wished. Iago ploted very cunningly that Desdemona loved Cassio and hinted to Othello when he cashired Cassio for killing a guard on duty. Here in the play, Iago himself mooted the cospiracy and as a part of it and he sent Roderigo who loved Desdemona and yet he believed to get her; to fight Cassio. Roderigo was ignorant of Iago's plan. Cassio approached Desdemona to plead for him to Othello to restore him in the post of general again as a part of intrigue of the ensign. So the innocent lady pleaded the matter to restore Cassio. It gave an opportunity to Iago to fulfill his desire of proving Desdemona's infidelity. It was easy to do so only because of Othello's weakness. He was quite suspicious and so he believed Iago's remarks that there might be some good reason for pleading him to restore Cassio again. At the same time Iago betrayed his own wife Emilia and ploted the handkerchief of Desdemona in Casso's room. Cassio went to return the handkerchief to Desdemona and was seen by Othello. It played a great role in the betrayal of Othello to Desdemona. Now he was sure that Desdemona had really affair with Cassio. Now he believed Iago more than his beloved and killed her.