At first we criticise Othello for his gullibility in believing Iago's lies, but if we are honest (a loaded word in this play) we end up by questioning ourselves. Othello is a study in human, rather than supernatural, evil – a real-world evil that could fool us too, but also an evil which employs tricks that we might, dare one say, use ourselves. So let's not be too complacent.

The fall of Othello and the death of Desdemona are such a waste; truly needless, truly tragic. And throttling Iago ten times over, which we want to do, won't bring them back.

Shakespeare once again shows how fictional characters on stage can represent and reflect reality more effectively than historical fact.


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