How does Shakespeare dramatize the problem of correct preception for Othello over the course of the play at large?  "Now do I see 'tis true" Act III scene iii

Expert Answers
ajmchugh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Shakespeare's Othello is generally accepted to be a good man whose unwarranted and seemingly uncontrollable jealousy brings about his downfall.  However, Othello's most glaring issue--the root of his jealousy--is his flawed perception of other characters.  To label him as a man who does not trust anyone is inaccurate; he trust Iago, one of the most masterfully-constructed and evil characters in all of literature, instead of his pure, loving, and constant wife. 

At the beginning of the play, audiences witness Othello's love for Desdemona and her love for him.  Their love seems to be genuine and pure, and Othello states himself in 3.3 that he is not, by nature, a jealous person.  In that very same scene, however, Othello allows Iago to influence his previously unwavering trust of Desdemona.  Even though he is clearly upset by Iago's initial claims that Desdemona is sleeping with Cassio, he demands "ocular proof" of the affair between the two.  When Iago tells Othello that he has seen Desdemona's handkerchief in Cassio's hand, Othello, before even having seen it himself, vows to kill his wife. 

Indeed, Othello's perception of many things--his wife's fidelity (or, as he sees it, infidelity), Iago's trustworthiness, and Cassio's loyalty--is fundamentally skewed.  He is unable to distinguish truth from lies, and he trusts the wrong people.  These problems, coupled with his jealousy, are responsible for his complete downfall at the end of the play.