Character Changes in the Play Othello, The Moore of Venice

The Character Changes in the Play Othello, The Moore of Venice

While serving as an envoy for the Moors, Othello is a Moor residing in Venice. After having been in Venice for some time, Othello is given the post of commander of the Venetian military. His successful job provides him considerable prestige in Venice, yet he is different from the people he lives and works with because of his foreign roots and skin tone. Furthermore, a reputation for heroism in combat and strong judgment in military things describes him as a military man. From his characters, he undergoes various transformations, right from the time he joins the Venetian military until he dies. This paper seeks to bring out the transformational development evidenced in Othello through the help of quotes that reflect the character’s personality, beliefs, and motives used as proof of character from the play Othello, The Moore of Venice.

Brave, Noble, and Honorable

In his own words, Othello is an “honored assassin,” combining excellence with flaws (act V.2, 295). He is a military commander of the Venetian military, and although an African foreigner, he has gained this position in terms of war excellence. He has courage and strength, intelligence, command skill, and respect for the militants. He gives a rousing motivational speech under pressure, which makes the Duke and Senate turn to “brave and noble” Othello and lead the defense system when the adversary endangers Cyprus. Othello came to live as a Venetian, amongst the sophistication of the city, after years of the campaign. He was welcomed to this house by Senator Brabantio, which is a surprise to the soldier. The comfort of his life, the intellectual discourse he is engaged in, the civilization that shines to him. He appoints Cassio, who becomes his lieutenant, a student of military experience. Suddenly, he sees decent chances that he never sought before.


“Well, wasn’t Cassio about to go from my wife?” (act 3.2. 35-40). The suspicious Othello asks Iago about seeing Cassio with his wife. The proceeding statements show that Othello’s character has dramatically changed from the loving and warm-hearted man towards Cassio and his wife, Desdemona. When he asked why he has gone away, his wife tells him that he (Cassio) had come for the penitent. Othello’s anger does not get quenched despite showing a false relief to Desdemona, since when he is asked by his wife when to call Cassio back, either during dinner, Othello responds that he will not dine there that night and not soon when he will be at home (55-84).

A Uxoricide and Gullible

“But I love you, and if I do not love you, Chaos is coming again” (III.3, 91-93). Othello is aware that achievement and pleasure are uncertain. In his mind, he feels he has been saved from turmoil by love. The tranquil Othello’s inner world returns to turmoil when he is deprived of his love for Desdemona. He grew up in exile, enslavement, danger, and desperation, now living in the turmoil of the battleground as a professional soldier, but he is no longer needs to be in his inner self since he has found love. This means that turmoil is just an outdated version of Hell is to call Desdemona an angel of mercy who saved Othello with her love. When Othello remarkably says that chaos comes back when he does not love, this shows his weakness in controlling his emotions. As evident at the end of the play, he killed Desdemona after being duped that she is having affairs out of wedlock. This chaos heightens until he kills himself.


“An unfortunate idea to show me your thoughts, prove you love me.” (III.iii.115). Othello feels betrayed by his close servicemen. When the angry Othello asks Iago whether Cassio is honest, and he responds that he thinks so, Othello decides to prove that even Iago is loyal and honest after discovering that he (Iago) is also lying to him. This makes Othello warn him that he should watch his words before he speaks them. “Thus, these times of yours scare me: For, as I have shown, such things in a fraudulent disloyal knave are tricks of the convention. However, in an upright man, they are sources of information, facts gleaned from the heart, which passion cannot control”. This expresses total betrayal and disloyalty.


They have yet found another of his fathoms; they have discovered nothing’ (Act 1.1, l. 151-152). When Othello first enters the stage, he is a Venetian citizen due to his military accomplishments. He is well regarded in Venice’s public systems. Because, as historical records tell us, the Venetians sought to prevent any mix of political and military authority, they chose to hire foreign mercenary generals to command their armies. Even his most hated enemy, Iago, accepts that he has the right to lead and concedes that he is the finest general to take on the Turkish threat. This claim later becomes confirmed as the commander (Othello) did not accomplish much during his commanding era. These sentiments also relate to the lieutenant Othello appointed, as he had no experience other than being a house boy who only knows how to cook. They help us to understand how Othello’s decisions were influenced during the making process.


“My parts, my title, and my faultless soul will certainly unveil me as I am” (1.2.31-32). The character of Othello, whose position of official and uncontested authority in Venice is self-evident, definitely fills this role. He considers himself and his sense of himself in a different light, too. Brabantio thinks he is secure from official complaints because of his valuable services to the state: I have made valuable contributions to the state, and he will have nothing to say about it. To strengthen (Act 1, 2:18-19). Othello says, “my parts, my title, and my faultless soul will certainly unveil me as I am” (1.2.31-32), which illustrates his marriage to Desdemona as justified due to his status in the military. First of all, when we look at the beginning of the play, we can see that Othello’s understanding of where he stands reinforces the ideas he has about himself. It has an aura of confidence. I say that “being rude in my words, and cursed by peace since, having utilized my arms for seven years, they have now used their most precious action on the field of battle for over nine consecutive months. However, men go often to the gallows.”

Ethical and Respectful

Othello admits his ethnic otherness, but he does not see it as a significant impediment to joining the exclusive Venetian private sphere. He feels he has rightfully claimed his place in the Venetian household and family context. However, Othello seems to be both part of the Venetian public context and an individual who is incorporated into the private Venetian context. Because he is a part of the military, he is accepted even if he is different based on race. His ethnic otherness, however, does not imply that he goes unnoticed. We can see that the idea of his marriage to Desdemona was a breach of the Venetian private space is there at the beginning of the play. Iago notifies Brabantio that a ram is making love to Brabantio’s ewe.


‘I bid you farewell! Goodbye the well-pompom soldiers, and the significant conflicts, that make nobility desire’ (Act 3.3, l.351-352). The feud represents Othello’s slide into savagery. As the play proceeds, it highlights the fact that Othello’s validation comes from Desdemona. He loses his private spot and his public place if she is not there. This can be seen from the words he uses, which are rather obvious.). Desdemona’s loss results in both his martial and private virtue being forfeited. As may be deduced from his comment in Act 3, Scene 3, Line 359, Othello’s employment has vanished when he says, “my occupation has gone” (p.304). Thus, occupancy has a dual sense since it suggests losing both formal and informal places.

Nonetheless, when he accuses her of infidelity, he claims: Wretched woman, send me to doom, but I love you! Moreover, when I no longer love you, the world goes back to chaos (Act 3.3, l.91-93). The fact that Othello connects the loss of Desdemona’s love to chaos serves to emphasize his overall theory that if he loses her, he will also lose his sense of identity.

Racial Inferiority

‘Perhaps, because I am black, and have those softer features of speech” (Act 3.3, l.267-268). In the play, we see a military commander who is transformed from a noble general to a savage. His race becomes brought up because he loses private and public places. The loss of those two things has allowed Othello to see his racial inferiority, saying that he alludes to “Black Vengeance” (Act 3.3, l.446), where black is an inescapable component of Othello’s blackness (p.310). Othello’s degradation and downfall started when he brutalizes Desdemona in act 4, scene 1, and Ludovico declares, “My lord; this would never pass in Venice” (Act 4.1, l.232). since Othello had lost his public and private places, he had changed from a civil person to a barbarian. Focusing on Cyprus is to replicate the clash inside Othello’s nature between civilized and barbarian. Since we may therefore claim that Shakespeare changes the play from a civilized setting towards a troubled area of destroyed Othello’s character from an honorable general to a beggar, it follows that Othello has no actual character in the eyes of Shakespeare.


‘Moreover, here is where I go to let out my full sails. Do you return despondent? Othello’s breast is all man can strike out against. And so he exits. Where should Othello be relocated to?’ (Act 5.2.267-71). Othello pushes him into both psychological and actual alienation in killing Desdemona since she has been unfaithful to him. Notably, Othello uses the words “I have served the city, and they acknowledge it” in his last soliloquy. Reminiscing about his lost Desdemona, he connects the two losses. Although he no longer belongs to Venetian society, he admits that he has reverted to his feral state. After the murder, the only thing the tragedy brings is to leave the Moor in a worse condition of desolation and alienation than any he has encountered to date: This shows a complete transformation of an experienced soldier who was regarded and ranked high in Venetian society. These ironic remarks show that the brave soldier to face every challenge on a battlefield has been cowardly by losing love, social status, and psychological wellness.

 Judgmental, unpardoning and foreshadowing

“And as smooth as the flawless white marble. She must die because else she will reveal the secrets of other men. If I extinguish you, you blazing minister, you will once again be restored to your former glory, …Then have compassion on me, heaven!” (Act V.ii.5-9, 33). These remarks from a conversation between Othello and his wife foreshadow events that are about to unfold. By the virtue that Othello decides her wife should die, this shows his inability to handle love and family affairs since he shows no chance to forgive his wife, who has not involved herself in infidelity matters. These judgmental and unpardoning characteristics drive him to kill his legal wife.