Othello is a play that evokes many emotions from a reader’s mind. The mood is changing, yet throughout; it demands a lot of contempt for the villain, Iago. Beginning with act one; there is an immediate setting for suspicion which will remain characteristic throughout the whole story.
There is a touch of happiness for the newlyweds, Othello and Desdemona, which quickly disintegrates with the mighty villain’s lies and deceit. There is a feeling of empathy for Othello when his extreme, yet falsely founded jealousy causes him to lose his mind, and his beloved wife.
The mood is sad and frustrating when poor innocent Desdemona is being punished for a crime she didn’t commit. And at the end, there is a slight feeling of satisfaction that Iago’s plan was revealed, yet the mood is overwhelmingly depressing because Othello and Desdemona both suffered severely and died. Iago introduces suspicion in the very first scene.
He is discussing how he hates Othello, yet he must feign loyalty for his position. This is already a clue to the reader that Iago cannot be trusted. This feeling of mistrust is vital in the mood of the play because it is most ironic that Othello trusts Iago as much as to murder his own wife. This ironic plot creates a frustrating feeling for the reader which is felt throughout the play.
The mood is tense when we find out that Brabantio is angry that Othello has taken his daughter. He is determined that Othello must have tricked Desdemona into loving him. Othello defends his love for her, and she, in turn, vows her love for him. This situation of a forbidden relationship is romantic, it makes the reader feel a great deal of respect and happiness for their mutual love. When Iago begins poisoning Othello’s mind with false suspicion of Desdemona’s fidelity, the mood is extremely frustrating. The reader is aware of Iago’s lies, yet Othello is being easily led to believe them.
This also evokes anger towards Iago, he is evil in his constant lying, yet he is referred to by Othello as kind and honest. This irony is painful to the reader because it is so blatant. Othello’s extreme jealousy causes the reader a combination of emotions. Jealousy is a very painful emotion, and the reader sympathizes with Othello.
Yet, since the reader is aware of the falseness in the roots of the jealousy, they feel a little disgusted by how easily Othello is being tricked. He is introduced as such a rational and strong man, yet the evil Iago is so easily deceiving him. The mood is tragic when we see that Iago’s plan has worked and the poor Desdemona is his unknowing victim. She is lovingly faithful to Othello, and is confused and hurt by his false accusations.
This makes the reader begin to dislike Othello for his irrational, cruel persecution of his loving wife. Still, we know the blame belongs to Iago, and our hostile feelings towards him are stronger than ever. As well as Desdemona, Cassio and Roderigo are also unexpecting victims to Iago’s schemes.
They all assume Iago’s honesty, while in fact he is exploiting and using them as his pawns in his deceitful plotting. The mood in acts IV, and V are continuously dreadful.
Othello has been driven mad by Iago’s insisting conversations of Desdemona’s affair with Cassio. Othello expresses his undeniable murderous thoughts which are rooted in his raging jealousy when he compares them to the current of the Pontic Sea, Whose icy current and compulsive course Ne’er feels retiring ebb, but keeps due on… Even so my bloody thoughts, with violent pace, Shall ne’er look back, ne’er ebb to humble love, Till that a capable and wide revenge, Swallow them up. Now, by yond marble heaven, In due reverence of a sacred vow I here engage my words. (3.3.502-510)
The reader understands his pain and longs for the truth to relieve it. On the contrary, Iago’s plan to expose Cassio in front of Othello works perfectly. When Othello secretly observes Cassio’s mistress with the handkerchief, he finally is completely convinced of the affair. He declared revenge for his lost love and pride and has decided that death shall be the punishment for both Cassio and Desdemona.
The ending of the story is disastrous, and the reader is devastated when Desdemona while pleading her innocence, is murdered by the jealously insane Othello. Othello is tragically surprised when he finally realizes, a minute too late, that he was wrong and Desdemona had been faithful. Iago’s lies were all uncovered by his wife Emilia, and Iago kills her for speaking the truth. Othello finally discovers Iago’s rotten lies and denounces him as a villain. Unfortunately, this realization is too late, and he has destroyed his own fate.
Othello kills himself in shame. The reader has a small feeling of justification that Iago was exposed, yet the mournful mood prevails since Othello, Desdemona, and Emilia, were all robbed of their happiness, and ultimately their lives for the lies that Iago told.