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Shakespeare’s Othello – Part V

At the heart of Act Three is Othello doing all of the work to create the illusions of deception. He only needs subtle hints from Iago. Othello does all the rest, driving himself to madness. The audience witnesses the events, but it is the interpretation of these events that causes the trouble. Iago forces Othello to see what Iago wants him to see. This is a warning that throughout life we are constantly viewing the world through interpretation. We must be certain of our guides, our sources. And the only source of order and proper interpretation in life is in the setting of a patriarchy to teach us the truth. Othello is the story of order dissolving into disorder. The proper place for Desdemona is in the home. She is at a battlefield. Disorder. Othello’s suspicion of her infidelity causes him to give up the battle. Why? She has no virtue, hence, nothing to defend. More disorder. At the heart of civilization is the virtuous woman. Through her virtue she can rule over her realm, the home. Her virtue gives men the reason to defend, the home, and if necessary, the country. The realm of the man is outside the home, defending the home.

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