Tragedy and the Misconstruction of Loyalty in Othello
Loyalty is fundamentally a commitment to someone or something alongside a network of undefined trust. It is a dedication to something, whether it is for love, to fulfill a promise, or a combination of each, despite the unknown outcome of the devotion. In William Shakespeare's play Othello, the concept of loyalty, or the paucity of it, is intertwined throughout numerous relationships between characters and hugely advances the plot. With considerable observation of the dynamic between the characters, it is apparent that the lack of loyalty, or appearance of such between characters is what constructs the play's tragic outcome. The exploration of the relationships between Iago and his peers, the ignorance of Othello in consideration of Desdemona's probity, and the impressionable nature of Emilia's credence towards the end of the play all demonstrate that the absence of loyalty is a principal reason for the catastrophic ending of Othello. At full length of the play, Tragedy is recognized to be the consequence of fabricated loyalty between characters, and the destructive results this absence initiates.
The character Iago is outlined to be the general Othello's willful ensign throughout the play, and seemingly displays an abundance of loyalty to Othello. Through further evaluation in these relationships, it can be proven that this presumed loyalty is false, and merely a scheme to service Iago's own selfish desires. When Othello is in front of the Duke upon being positioned in Cyprus, he discloses that he wishes for his wife, Desdemona, to be placed under the care of Iago and Emilia whilst in Cyprus as he views Iago as a man of respect, "A man he is of honesty and trust," (1.3.284). In reality, Iago's illusive honesty is a component of his plan to get revenge on Othello as he suspects that Othello slept with his wife Emilia, and he conspires to do so by putting forth a deception of loyalty in his relationship with Othello to gain the general's trust, but to ultimately benefit his own selfish intentions "I follow him to serve my time upon him" (1.1.42). Substantially, it is this incentive to expose Othello, and the lack of honest loyalty that leads to the tragic ending of the play.
Furthermore, Iago conjointly displays a similar aspect of misconceived loyalty in his friendship with Cassio, the named lieutenant. The friendship between the two men, much like Iago's relationship with Othello, is not all as it seems. Iago lividly explains how he is envious of Cassio's position as lieutenant and how he is determined to have the title himself, even if it means betraying his friend. He arranges a strategy to forsake Cassio, and manipulates his sensitiveness to alcohol to give Othello a reason to depose him "Whose qualification shall come into no true taste but by the displanting of Cassio" (2.1.264-266). Iago's disloyalty to Cassio concludes partially in his favour, as Othello fires the lieutenant "But never more an officer of mine" (2.3.228). As a result, Cassio falls into desperation and leans to Iago for assistance. Once again, Iago favours his own desires and deceptively tells Cassio to seek advice from the trusting Desdemona, which solely services Iago's intent to exhibit Cassio as unloyal himself. These devious actions of Iago are what commence the chain of dishonest occurrences throughout that play and likewise substantiate that the lack of loyalty is the cause of the navigated tragedy.
Notwithstanding the evidence that Iago illustrates an abundance of deceitfulness, it is credible to note that even Othello himself displays faithlessness throughout the play. Subsequent to revealing his love for Desdemona and continuously explaining the extent to which he loves and trusts her, Othello is extremely distinct regarding his loyalty to her. Once more, Iago attempts to manipulate Othello and his loyalty by discussing his suspicions that Desdemona is unfaithful, although Othello claims that his speculation is unmoving "No, Iago;/ I'll see before I doubt" (3.3.189-190). Despite this, Iago still manages to dismantle the loyalty between the couple by deceiving Othello, which inevitably leads him to question the durability of his relationship. Othello begins to lose faith in his wife's fidelity, and as a result of this disloyalty, the course to tragedy begins to unveil.
Additionally, Othello's depletion of loyalty leads to more than just skepticism of his relationship, but provokes abrupt aggression in his behaviour. The line "To furnish me with some swift means of death/For the fair devil" (3.3.477-478) indicates that Othello has profoundly lost trust in Desdemona, and that his once undeniable loyalty has converted into a form of intense repulsion for her actions. With help from Iago, he concludes that a reasonable solution would be to kill Desdemona. It is this resentment, shaped by Othello's loss of loyalty, that leads to the death of both Desdemona, and consequently Othello himself. Othello abandoned his loyalty to Desdemona, and as a consequence he began loathing her to the point where he plotted and proceeded to kill her, which concludingly validates that the loss of, or more notably the utter lack of loyalty is what leads to the tragic outcome of the play.
While it is commonly the deception of loyalty in a relationship that leads to tragedy, it can also be the redistribution of it that causes a disastrous ending. Emilia regularly does what her husband Iago asks of her throughout the majority of play without much defiance, "What he will do with it/ Heaven knows, not I;/I nothing but to please his fantasy" (3.3.297-299). Emilia rarely questions if his intentions are noble yet nonetheless obeys him because she trusts him, to some extent. Nevertheless, she loses this trust and abandons her loyalty to Iago in favour of Desdemona consequent of discovering his plan for vengeance, and the damage this plan has caused to Desdemona's reputation. Emilia's rebuttal to his actions "Tis proper I obey him, but not now./Perchance, Iago, I will ne'er go home" (5.2.196-197) demonstrates her disregardance of the faith she once had in their relationship, which alludes Iago to suspect treason . Any loyalty Emilia has towards Iago disappears in hindsight of misfortune and, accordingly, Iago becomes irrational, and proceeds to kill Emilia, which authenticates that it is the lack of loyalty that causes the tragic ending of Othello.
The concept of loyalty is what binds people together, and involves undefined trust and faithfulness in one another; however, once these things morals are betrayed, bitter retribution often succeeds. It is notable to say that Iago's maneuvers to satisfy his own wants and Othello's impressionable gullibility are each a result of the need for vengeance, and while Emilia's unfaithful actions are due to feeling exploited by her husband, they are in consideration of the misplacement of loyalty nonetheless. Iago, Othello, and Emilia's behaviours each arose from their own lack of loyalty, and it is this deficiency that often misleads the truth from a situation and likewise insinuates betrayal. The lack of loyalty between characters is the predominant shortcoming that causes the tragic ending of Othello. I’ve found a website Homeworkfor.me. It is a place where you can find synthesis essay topics and inspiration to write your college assignments. There are a lot of templates of assignments that are done by strict academic standards.