Loyalty in Othello

Loyalty is the degree to which someone is faithful, committed and respectful to others. In William Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy, Othello, loyalty is seen throughout the entirety of the play from numerous characters. The two major types of loyalty come from the main character Othello and his ensign, Iago. Each character shows their views and ways of loyalty upon fellow characters and the city that the play is based within, Venice. Through relating to the characters positions and developing questions and answers, my understanding of the ideas portrayed within in Othello were enhanced by analysing characterization, dramatic structure and the form of the play whilst reading Shakespeare’s tragedy.
In Shakespeare’s play, the main character Othello is seen as a loyal and trustworthy man of a high power. This is due to his ranking within the Venice army, yet he is still considered inferior and barbaric, because it is unusual for a black man to rise to such a rank at this period of time. Shakespeare reinforces the prejudices against Othello through this relationship.
Throughout the entirety of the play, Othello’s loyalty is shown to be held against all characters. Othello’s loyalty towards Desdemona is built from the love, trust, respect and faithfulness held within the relationship at the beginning of the play and is a reflection of how her loyalty towards Othello is greater than her loyalty is towards her father now that they are married. This is proven when Desdemona accompanies him to war instead of staying behind with her father Brabantio, ‘By his dear absence. Let me go with him’.
Othello’s loyalty towards Desdemona is proven when Brabantio accuses him of corrupting her leading to Othello offering his life if she did not say she loved him back, ‘Not only take away, but let your sentence, Even fall upon my life’.
Othello’s trust and loyalty towards Desdemona begins to waver further throughout the play as Iago reveals that she is ‘cheating’ on him with Cassio....