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Othello uses his black skin as a symbol for how poorly spoken and unattractive he thinks he is. All of his claims are very much beside the point; his words are actually more complex and beautiful than those spoken by any other character in the play. Othello doubts that Desdemona could love him, because of his misconception of himself as being uncouth, poorly spoken, and old; and because he begins to believe that Desdemona cannot love him, he starts to believe her guilty of infidelity. The leap is great, but it is all a product of Othello's own insecurities and his incorrect conception of himself, another theme of the play. How Othello sees himself directly influences how he views Desdemona's love, though there should be a disconnection between these two things.