In the play Othello, Is Othello's ability to love absolutely a strength or weakness?Iam trying to write a speech based on this question, I have come up with ideas such as it is a weakness that his...

In the play Othello, Is Othello's ability to love absolutely a strength or weakness?

Iam trying to write a speech based on this question, I have come up with ideas such as it is a weakness that his love for Iago as a brother makes him put complete belief and trust in what Iago is saying and that he believes Iago would not decieve him. But iam looking for some more points to include, thanks.

Asked on by blaney1

2 Answers | Add Yours

kiwi's profile pic

kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

Othello asks that he be remembered as 'one who lov'd not wisely but too well.' Indeed I think it is his love for Iago and his unshakeable trust in him that he should be referring to here.

His love for Desdemona changes as he is made suspicious of her virtue by Iago. When his own motives were questioned at the beginning of the play with regard to his 'bewitching' of Desdemona, Othello requested that Desdemona be allowed to speak her mind and giver her perspective of events. This done, the situation is clarified.

Othello does not use this approach when faced with the question of Desdemona's motives with regard to Cassio, however. Othello refuses to listen to her, denies her the opportunity to explain and ignores her pleas. I would question whether his love is as much for his reptutation and position as it is of his wife.

akannan's profile pic

Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I would presume that you will get different responses to this question.  I think that Othello's absolute sense of love is a weakness because it causes him blindness.  He is blind to Iago's manipulation.  Perhaps, it is because, as you say, he loved him as a brother.  I never thought of it like that, myself.  I can see it to a certain extent, and perhaps am more inclined to accept it if it can be linked to this blindness.  Simply put, Othello does not open his eyes to the potential that he might be the victim of Iago's machinations.  In the same way, Othello is blind to the fact that his own fears and doubts are impacting the way he views Desdemona.  I tend to think that this is because he could never fully embrace the fact that an outsider such as he would be given "the keys to the kingdom" and enjoy the privilege of power as well as the love of a woman such as Desdemona.  He is blind to how his own insecurities and doubt end up coloring his feelings for Desdemona.

We’ve answered 318,918 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question