Instead, Desdemona is perpetually baffled by Othello's behavior, and Othello's perspective of Desdemona becomes so distorted it bears no relationship to her real actions in the play.Interestingly, Desdemona turns to Iago for assistance to explain Othello's behavior: "Good friend, go to him; for, by this light of heaven,/I know not how I lost him" (4.2).
Othello: Tragic Hero Othello: The Aristotelian tragedy of the Moor of Venice Speak of me as I am; nothing extenuate, Nor set down aught in malice: then must you speak Of one that loved not wisely but too well; Of one not easily jealous, but being wrought Perplex'd in the extreme; of one whose hand, Like the base Indian, threw a pearl away Richer than all his tribe...(V.2).
According to the Greek philosopher Aristotle in his "Poetics," a great tragedy provokes both pity and terror in the hearts of the viewer.
Othello's background and his intertwining of his self-esteem with his military position also makes it difficult for him to engage in a dialogue Desdemona through any language other than violence -- Othello strikes his wife, rather than verbally confronts her with why he expects her of adultery with Cassio.
If Othello were able to actually broach the subject with Desdemona and talk to her as an equal, then the tragedy might have a different ending.
This paradox gives the tragedy of "Othello" its moral complexity, its instructive power, and its ability to inspire pity and terror.
Most individuals have felt jealousy and suffered prejudice, in one form or another, but Othello's greatness makes him suffer on an epic scale in a way that instructs the viewer that even greatness does not make one immune to cruelty in love.Othello is a great military hero who has distinguished himself in battle.Othello suffers the slings and arrows of prejudice, despite Othello's great service to Venice.Othello is unable to understand the subtle nature of love and emotional manipulation -- even to his dying breath he says he is not jealous.Yet because of his commendable, military service and valor, he is able to win Desdemona and win the respect of the white city leaders who allow him to marry her, despite the resistance of her father."Othello...essentially large and grand, towering above his fellows, holding a volume of force which in repose ensures pre-eminence without an effort, and in commotion reminds us rather of the fury of the elements than of the tumult of common human passion" (Bradley 176).Given this greatness of action and mind, why does Othello behave so foolishly and why is he so easily hoodwinked by Iago?In this, William Shakespeare's "Othello" is a perfect tragedy.It is of an extraordinary man whose tragically great nature is both the making of him, and his undoing.Othello's tendency to believe Iago, an older and career military officer, more than the words of the innocent young Desdemona may thus be attributed to the fact that Othello is a military man who has known little of civilian life and who has used his military position to overcome the racism and difficult circumstances he has faced throughout his life.Othello distrusts women, and has great insecurities that his race and age may make him less than desirable to Desdemona, even though she denies this.