Topic Sentence: Act 1 of Othello by William Shakespeare attempts to portray betrayal through the story of a biracial couple.
Supporting Ideas: Othello and Desdemona’s relationship tests the boundaries of betrayal especially when close friends and family are involved.
Explanation: After Iago and Rodrigo discover the elopement of Othello and Desdemona, they hurried over to Brabantio, Desdemona’s father, and explained the situation. Brabantio is demands that the matter be taken up with the Duke of Venice. In the end, the Duke sides with Othello. Brabantio disowns Desdemona and she decides to follow Othello to war. Meanwhile Iago is secretly planning their demise because he believes he was betrayed by Othello. Iago convinces Roderigo to follow the couple to war and unknowingly carry out Iago’s evil plan.
Conclusion: In Act 1 of Othello by William Shakespeare the issue of betrayal arises around a biracial couple and their loved ones.
Topic Sentence: Act 1 of Othello by William Shakespeare correctly displays the power of betrayal because it can have lasting effects on friendships and relationships.
Claim 1: Betrayal can influence relationships greatly as shown in Act 1 when multiple relationships were affected in a negative way. Othello and Desdemona are seen getting married at a secret wedding by Iago and Roderigo. They immediately rush off to tell Desdemona’s father, Brabantio, what they witnessed. Iago and Rodrigo claim Othello has stolen Desdemona away from her father and they say crude comments to fuel Brabantio's anger. Brabantio is already furious with his friend of many years, Othello, and his beloved daughter Desdemona. But Iago takes the situation to another level by using racism to manipulate Brabantio’s emotions and make him hate Othello. Iago felt he was betrayed earlier on by Othello when he did not get the position of Lieutenant, and now he wants revenge for the supposed wrong committed against him. Iago exclaims to Brabantio, “Even now, now, very now, an old black ram is tupping your white ewe. Arise, arise!” (Shakespeare 1.1.97-98). All Iago wants is for Brabantio to hate Othello for ‘stealing’ his daughter. He does this by using race to create a visual image and add more drama to the situation.
Counterclaim: However Iago may not have been so much as betraying Othello as he was being loyal to a senator of Venice, Brabantio. Iago could’ve felt that he needed to make the situation known to people with power like Brabantio, because at the time, a biracial marriage was sinful and wrong. He just thought that he should explain what he saw to someone who could do something about it, like a Senator. Whether Iago was betraying Othello is besides the point. Iago believed that Brabantio needed to know about his daughter and the Moor. Not only because as a father, he needs to know that his daughter got married, but also as a Senator with power, he could do something about the sinful marriage. Iago cried to Roderigo, “Let’s shout up to Desdemona’s father… However real his happiness is, it will vanish in light of this.” (Shakespeare 1.1.3). Iago simply believes he is doing the right thing rather than concocting an evil plan to get back at Othello for giving away his position, which he considered was rightfully his.
Rebuttal: A common view is that Iago is loyal to Brabantio and is not being purposefully deceitful to Othello. One might think this because Brabantio is a Senator of Venice and deserves respect. However, it is it more complicated than that. Iago knowingly created more anger and tension between Othello and Brabantio, and Brabantio and his daughter Desdemona. He created visual images, explained dramatic scenes of betrayal by Othello, and formed a newfound distrust of Desdemona and her decision making. He also makes a point of bringing up Othello’s race and makes several crude comments that would make any father angry, especially Brabantio. Brabantio took all of this information given to him by Iago and worked himself up into a rage that would only be satisfied by forcing Othello to talk to the Duke about his crimes. Brabantio felt that Othello had stolen Desdemona away from him, and he needed to be punished. This all happened because of Iago, with help from Roderigo, and his evil plans to force himself back into the Lieutenant position. His plans appeared to be working too! He was turning Desdemona’s father against her and her new husband, despite the fact that the two had been friends for years.Conclusion: Act 1 of Othello by William Shakespeare portrays the effects of betrayal on relationships and friendships by telling the story of a biracial couple.