Othello Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

Othello book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What are Othello's character traits?

Othello is a confident, decisive man of action but also insecure and suspicious due to his status as a social outsider.

Expert Answers info

Greg Jackson, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

bookM.A. from University of Massachusetts-Boston


calendarEducator since 2018

write1,754 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Law and Politics

Othello is a man riddled with internal conflict and contradictions. He is a confident military leader and a self-doubting member of society. He is an insider of the Venetian court but a outsider due to his race and nationality as a Moor. Othello is a dutiful husband who comes to doubt his marriage. He is trusted and respected by the Duke and Senate but ridiculed by many others, such as Brabantio. Othello knows that no matter how nobly he acts, no matter how much he accomplishes, or how many powerful allies he makes, he will never be fully accepted for who he is.

All this personal conflict takes a toll on Othello. Without it, he would have lived a life full of accomplishment and success. However, it leaves him open to self-doubt, which makes him easy to manipulate by the likes of Iago. All Iago has to do to destroy Othello is make vague insinuations about Desdemona's fidelity. He never provides any evidence that she is unfaithful. Mere insinuations are enough to play on Othello's lack of...

(The entire section contains 5 answers and 990 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Dolly Doyle eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseLibrarian


calendarEducator since 2018

write1,227 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2017

write11,165 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write10,912 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write10,186 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial