Shakespeare's Othello is a play of tragedy. He uses the character Othello to portray the effects of tragedy by showing the way it affects him psychologically. Othello is introduced as a composed, well educated military man. He is also a passionate lover, as shown by the way he feels about Desdemona. However, in act two, even though he is composed, it is revealed that Othello has a short temper. In act three, Iago's plan begins to hatch and Shakespeare clearly shows how this affects Othello, as he slowly begins to descend into madness.
In act one, Shakespeare introduces the character Othello as a hero and a respected military general. Othello himself is aware of his greatness as he describes himself as a man who is worthy to marry Desdemona- ' My parts, my title and my perfect soul shall manifest me rightly'. This highlights that Othello believes that his past will defend him and that he has done nothing wrong as to why he cannot claim Desdemona. Othello uses the phrase, 'perfect soul' to describe himself. This shows his over confidence in how he believes he is perfect in every way. This is ironic as to how he naively thinks he is invulnerable to any harm that might come in his way. His naivety could be one reason why faults into Iago's trap. Othello is also a loving man as well being composed and disciplined. This is conveyed when he says, 'I love the gentle Desdemona'. Here, the audience is able to see Othello's passionate and sensitive side to his lover. His passion for Desdemona is greatly shown throughout the first act which may seem obsessive. However, we know this begins to change later on to the play.
In act two, Shakespeare reveals root of Iago's plan in the soliloquy, which shows his disliking towards Othello. This is apparent when Iago says, 'and nothing can or shall content my soul till I am evened with him'. It is clear that Iago has some hatred and wants to take revenge from Othello when he says 'till I am evened with him'. The root cause of Othello's destruction becomes clear to the audience that it is due to Iago and his revenge to become 'even' with him.
In act two, we begin to see Iago's plot taking place when Cassio injures Montano. Here, we still get to see Othello's composed personality. However, another side to him is shown when Othello gets anrgy very easily-'and he that is approved in this offence, though he had twinned with me, both at birth, shall lose me'. Othello claims that, whoever started this fight, even if it was his brother, he will punish him. Though we do not see him behaving madly, his judgment in being quick to punish, shows how easily Othello is able to become angry and act in haste. His short temper could support the reason why Othello begins to doubt without considering all options, jumping into conclusions.
In act three, there is clear evidence as to Othello becoming to doubt his judgements and doubts which leads to losing trust and becoming mentally unstable. At the beginning of act three, we begin to see signs of madness as Othello foreshadows the events of the play-' But I do love thee! and when I love thee not Chaos is come again'. Here, Othello claims that when he does not love her 'Chaos' is come again. The word 'Chaos' signifies how the madness and the destruction that will take place if Othello is not to love Desdemona. Later into act three, the audience is able to see Othello beginning to believe Iago's claims about Desdemona's strange behaviour. For example, Othello begins to use shorter sentences in his dialogue such as 'Ha!', 'O misery'. Shorter sentences show his lack of control over Iago's claims about Desdemona and his weakness to take charge of