Without Trust, Love Cannot Prevail Trust can be defined as assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something (Webster’s 1246). In life many people are faced with the decision on who or who not to trust, especially in the realm of love. Trust is one of the main factors needed to determine a healthy, loving relationship. In William Shakespeare’s Othello, the main character Othello is unable to trust his new bride Desdemona. In act one, scene three, Desdemona professes her love for Othello in front of her father, as well as the court. Regardless of Desdemona’s professed love for Othello, Othello fails to see her honest love and becomes blind of her devotion for her husband, when he should have had trust.
Since Othello failed to have confidence in himself, when it pertained to love, he failed to have confidence in his wife and marriage, which led Othello to not trust his new bride. In society today lack of trust in one’s partner is able to ruin a good relationship just as Othello did with his new marriage. Trust is a key factor in a healthy relationship, without it love is unable to prevail. In act one, scene three, Othello calls in his new bride to allow her to speak on behalf of their relationship. Without hesitation Desdemona speaks on behalf of herself and her love for her husband. “That I (did) love the Moor to live with him My downright violence and storm of fortunes May trumpet to the world.
My heart’s subdued Even to the very quality of my lord. I saw Othello’s Visage in his mind, And To his honors and his Valiant parts Did I my soul and Fortunes consecrate. So that, dear lords, if I be left behind, A moth of peace, and he go to the war, The rites for why I love him are bereft me And I a heavy interim shall support By his dear absence. Let me go with him.” (Shakespeare 45, line 283-293). Desdemona professed her love for Othello in front of her father and the court. By doing so she reinforced the fact that no magic or mystical powers were used and she explained how she went with Othello freely, by doing so she redefines her own status as Othello’s wife (Calder wood 29).
By confessing her love, Desdemona is presenting to Othello her faithfulness to him because she is allowing all of them (those in the court) to know about her love, which should allow Othello to see her love for him is real and that he is able trust her and love her. Regardless of Desdemona’s professed love for Othello, Othello fails to see her honest love and becomes blind of her devotion for him. During this time Othello becomes consumed by jealousy, and is unable to trust Desdemona due to Iago’s deceitful lies about Desdemona committing adultery. Throughout the play Iago is antagonistic and fabricated views are constantly placed in front of Othello. An example of this is in Act three, scene three. Iago: .”..
I speak not yet of proof. Look to your wife; observe her well with Casio; Wear your eyes thus, not jealous nor secure. I would not have your free and noble nature, Out of self-bounty, be abused. Look to ‘t. I know our country disposition well. In Venice they do let (God) see the pranks They dare not show their husbands.
Their best Conscience Is not to leave ‘t undone, but [keep’t] unknown.” Othello: I am bound to thee forever. (Shakespeare lines 224-236 pg 131) Here Othello has fallen into Iago’s trap of treachery about his wife committing adultery without even questioning Desdemona, who has only displayed unconditional love. Iago plays on Othello’s emotions to the point where Othello is unable to take the pain, which was put upon him by Iago’s lies and goes to the extreme of killing his wife. By allowing Iago’s words to control his (Othello’s) thoughts and emotional feels toward Desdemona, Othello was unable to trust his wife and in return destroyed their love. In order to love another one must always be able to love him / her self first.
In the play, Othello shows several signs of him unable to love himself for who he is, and begins to doubt Desdemona’s love for him. In act three, scene three, after Iago begins to corrupt Othello’s thoughts about Desdemona, Othello begins to doubt himself. “To prey at fortune. Haply, for I am black An have not those soft parts of conversation That chambers have, or for I am declined Into the vale of years – yet that’s not much-She’s gone, I am abused, and my relief… .” (Shakespeare 135 lines 304-308) Othello begins to think of all his insecurities, which sets him apart from his wife. These insecurities are then turned into fear, which allows Othello to persist in his horrible fantasy that Desdemona is unfaithful to him (Callaghan 117).
By doing so Othello pushes Desdemona’s devotion for him further away until it becomes nonexistent. Once Othello has killed Desdemona, he (Othello) finds himself in a situation, in which trust and faith are required, virtues with which Othello is unfamiliar with (Callaghan 93). Since Othello lacked confidence in him self, he also lacked confidence in Desdemona’s love for him, because of this love was unable to survive. In society today marriages, as well as dating relationships fail. In the United States alone 2.
2 million marriages fail each year. Many factors play an important role in a healthy long lasting relationship. Honesty, security, love, and trust all play key factors in good marriages. In the play, Othello failed to have trust for Desdemona, which in turned destroyed their love.
Without trust, jealousy, insecurity and suspicion will eventually erode away a relationship and destroy the love. Today, as well as in the renaissance era trust is needed in order for love to thrive. Although Desdemona only showed unconditional love to her husband, Othello was unable to see past Iago’s deceitful sham. Even though Desdemona professed her love for Othello in front of her father, as well as the court, Othello failed to see her love as trust. Othello fails to see her honest love and became blind of her devotion for her husband, when Othello should have had trust. Othello also failed to have confidence in himself, when it pertained to love and by doing so he failed to have confidence in his wife and marriage, which led Othello to not trust Desdemona.
Through the years from renaissance era to know trust is just as important in a relationship then it has ever been. Trust is needed every relationship, with trust love is unable to prevail. Work CitedCalderwood, James L. The Properties of Othello. Massachusetts: The University of Massachusetts Press, 1989. Callaghan, Dympna.
Woman and Gender in Renaissance Tragedy: A Study of King Lear, Othello, The Duchess of Mali and The White Devil. Hertfordshire: Harvester Wheat sheaf, 1989. Shakespeare, William. Othello. Ed. Barbara A.
Mowat, Paul Wer stine. New York: A Washington Square Press Publication, 1993. Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary. 2 need. 1981.