What can we make of Iago’s “seduction” of Othello in act 3, scene 3? Should Othello be more suspicious of what Iago, or are we sympathetic to Othello falling into his trap? Ultimately, can we justify Othello siding more with Iago than his own wife?

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In act 3, scene 3 of Othello, Shakespeare shows us a side of Othello that we haven't seen before. Othello has expressed some concerns and self-doubt regarding his color and his age previously in the play, but he has otherwise appeared supremely self-confident, even-tempered, and rigorously fair-minded.

Othello forestalls a brawl in the streets with Desdemona's father, Brabantio, and others by the force of his personality alone. He likewise disarms the Duke and his council, figuratively speaking, defends himself for eloping with Desdemona, and wins them over with his description of how he won Desdemona's love. The Duke even rewards him with command of an expedition to Cyprus.

In act 2, scene 2, Othello acts every inch the soldier, general, and commander, dispatching letters to the ship's captain, and taking charge of the fortifications of the castle.

In act 3, scene 3, Othello is suddenly cast as a secondary character to Iago. Othello seems to be much too easily led by Iago's insinuations,...

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