what are some example of self discovery in othello


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Othello's lack of self-knowledge makes him easy prey for Iago. Once Iago inflames Othello's jealousy and gets the darker aspects of Othello's nature into action, there is nothing Othello can do to stop it, since he cannot even admit that he has these darker traits.


The murder of Desdemona came about as a result of Othello's pride, the threat to his reputation, and concern over his public image. He was shallow, and even after killing her, he couldn't admit it was a wrongful act. Othello's final moment of self-discovery occurred when he realized his excuses meant nothing and his motives were unfounded. In the end, Othello takes his own life. This act is contradictory in that he attempts to die an honorable death for a dishonorable act, and yet, continues to worry about his own reputation.

"No more of that. I pray you, in your letters,

When you shall these unlucky deeds relate,

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,

Perplexed in the extreme. Of one whose hand,

Like the base Indian, threw a pearl away

Richer than all his tribe. Of one whose subdued eyes..."

In the above text, it is possible to see that Othello only half understood what he had become. His self-discovery was minimal at best, and his request was a bid to rewrite the truth of what had happened.