In simple words, discuss the weaknesses of Othello in Shakespeare's play Othello?

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William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Othello seems like a terribly gullible man. His transition from being a loving, devoted husband to being a jealous and abusive one seems to happen to quickly and too easily. Iago uses nothing to make Othello jealous and suspicious of Desdemona but suggestions and innuendo. Then Othello suddenly turns on Iago, whom he has been calling "honest, honest Iago," and threatens him with death if he doesn't furnish positive, tangible, and what he calls "oracular" proof that Desdemona is having sexual relations with Cassio. Iago further hoodwinks Othello by getting possession of a handkerchief which Othello gave Desdemona and which she accidentally dropped. It is incredible that Othello should end up strangling his own beloved wife because of the misunderstanding about this handkerchief. He even brings up the subject of the handkerchief while he is in the process of murdering her in their bed, but he won't listen to her reasonable explanation that she lost it. He is supposed to be a courageous man and a great leader, but he is made to look like a fool. It is hard to feel pity for Othello at the end of the play. We feel pity for his dead wife. We feel a sort of contempt for Othello, having seen him commit a brutal murder of an innocent, helpless woman.