Othello and a Discourse of Marriage and Wiving Essay

In Othello, Shakespeare adheres to some of but ignores some of the rules set from A Discourse of Marriage and Wiving, while he creates conflicts in Othello’s marriage to Desdemona. While everything starts out great with Othello’s marriage to Desdemona, things slowly unravel when Iago, the villain of the play, begins to fill the heads of his ‘friends’ with lies. Othello is boastful of the beauty and gentleness of his wife, causing the work for Iago to be minimal. Othello allows his sweet Desdemona to be around his friends more often than he should and by doing this Iago finds it that much easier to make his plan fall in place.

Othello grows very jealous as Iago fills his head with lies of his sweet Desdemona and from there everything goes spiraling downward into an awful fate. ?In A Discourse of Marriage and Wiving, Niccholes states that one should “Make not they friend too familiar with thy wife. ” Do not allow your wife to become too close to your friends. Othello allows Desdemona to be in the company of his governors and companions. Even though Desdemona stays true to her dear Othello, Iago leads Othello to believe that Desdemona has not only been sleeping with Cassio but in love with him as well.

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Othello begins to ponder the idea as he states to Iago “To say my wife is fair, feeds well, loves company, Is free of speech, sings, plays, and dances well: where virtue is, there are more virtuous” (III, iii). By now Othello has fallen into Iago’s awful plan to ruin his marriage. ?Othello thinks that he knows his wife, Desdemona, better than anyone else knows her. He knows deep down that Desdemona would never be untrue to him. But, as Iago points out when he says “She did deceive her father, marrying you; And when she seem’d to shake and fear your looks, she loved them most” (III, iii).

Othello now realizes that he does not know his wife well at all. As said in A Discourse of Marriage and Wiving, “Be advised before thou conclude for though thy error may teach thee wit, it is uncertain in this, whether thou shall ever have life-like occasion to practice it” (Niccholes). One must be careful of who he marries, as they may not be who he thinks they are, even if they think they know them well. ?“Conceive not an idle jealous, being a fire, once kindled, is not easily put out” (Niccholes). When Niccholes says this, it implies that jealousy should not happen in a relationship or the romance will die.

You as humans are unable to stop being jealous once you start. When Othello begins believing Iago’s lies on Desdemona he grows jealous. Othello is unable to stop being jealous even though he tries to forgive what he thinks Desdemona did. Even though Iago is trying to cause problems he warns Othello, “O, beware, my lord, of jealousy; it is the green-eyed monster, which doth mock The meat it feeds on: that cuckold lives in bliss” (III, iii). Othello ignores this advice and suffocates Desdemona at the end of the play. In this case, romance died, literally. “[F]or know, Iago, But that I love the gentle Desdemona…” (I, ii). As Othello brags of how much he loves Desdemona and how beautiful she is to all of the men he is around, boasting about how great she is, other men begin to fall in love with her. Othello speaks so great of Desdemona that when men see her and how beautiful she is they cannot resist but to love her and want to marry her.

For instance, Roderigo falls in love with here and Igao accuses Cassio of loving her. In A Discourse to Marriage and Wiving, Niccholes says “Blaze not her beauty with thine own tongue. One must not brag of how beautiful or great his wife is unless he wants other men to want to love her and other men to fall in love with her. Othello makes this mistake numerous times as he boast of the great times he has with Desdemona. ?“It is more torment to be jealous of a man’s wife, than resolved of her dishonesty” (Niccholes). It is worse to think your wife lies about small things than to know that your wife cheats! Othello does not know that his wife cheats although he expects it. He believes that she lies about things that are irrelevant to the situation at hand.

He comes to realize that he did not marry the woman he thought he did. “Why did I marry? – This honest Creature doubtless Sees and knows more, much more, than he unfolds” (III, iii). Iago has told Othello enough lies that he thinks that Desdemona is untrue not only by cheating but that she lies of the things she does. Othello says she gave her handkerchief to Cassio, when she replies that she didn’t, Othello grows furious that she is lying to him. ?According to Niccholes, one must take care of her husband in sickness but is to stay out f the way during health when saying “A true wife should be like a turquoise stone, clear in heart in her husband’s health, and cloudy in his sickness. ” Desdemona does so, even though Othello sees it differently. When Iago gets Othello worked up before the dinner Desdemona comes in to find Othello sweaty and ask if he is okay. He replies he is fine, as Desdemona worries of if he is okay she cries out “Faith, that’s with watching; ‘twill away again: Let me but bind it hard within this hour It will be well” (III iii). Desdemona drops her handkerchief; Emilia steals it and gives it to Iago.

Iago plants it on Cassio and everything goes bad from Desdemona trying to take care of her husband. ?In the end, Shakespeare ends up doing the exact opposite of some rules to marriage. He follows some but most of the play does the opposite. Othello listens to his friends, and Desdemona ends up being hurt in the end by everything that is going on. Between the lies and everything going on no one is able to stop to think about it and Iago ends up ruining the lives of everyone. Shakespeare wrote an amazing play using the characters against each other and making everyone do something bad.