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Othello's masculine pride is destroyed by the thought of his wife cheating on him. Being a cuckold was the worst fate a guy like Othello could suffer. Othello is defensively proud of himself and his achievements, and especially proud of the honorable appearance he presents. The allegations of Desdemona's affair hurt his pride even more than they inflame his vanity and jealousy; he wants to appear powerful, accomplished, and moral at every possible instance, and when this is almost denied to him, his wounded pride becomes especially powerful.