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Othello's Relationship with Desdemona

            According to psychology author George K. Simon, there are three crucial requirements in a successful psychological manipulation: concealment of intention, understanding of the victim's vulnerabilities, and ruthlessness (Simon 79-85). A particular manipulative technique involves lying by omission and diversion, subtly lying and yet withholding a significant amount of truth. For the victim this may stimulate certain insecurities that were once neglected, causing insurmountable pressure and confusion. This form of manipulation is extensively highlighted in Othello between Othello, the victim, and Iago, the manipulator. Iago is driven to convince Othello of Desdemona's infidelity. Those manipulative assertions along with Othello's hidden insecurities help explain to Othello's descent into distrust in Desdemona. .
             The mere thought of Desdemona's infidelity was beyond Othello's comprehension, until several people subtly hinted on such a possibility. On the night of the play's initial setting, Brabantio is woken from his sleep by Roderigo and Iago, who relayed news of a secret marriage between his daughter, Desdemona, and the Moor, Othello. Brabantio is infuriated, not just by the fact that "[Desdemona] is gone " but also that she is with "the Moor " (I.i.162). He is struck by thoughts of "who would be a father? O, she deceives me Past thought! " (I.i.64). Desdemona was ruthless as she deceived her father. In their eventual encounter, Brabantio advised to Othello to be weary, to "look [at] her " for "if thou hast eyes to see; she has deceived [me] and may thee " (I.iii.292-293). At the time, Othello arrogantly dismissed such an accusation, betting "[his] life upon her faith " (I.iii.294). So, it is not unreasonable to say that Othello had an undeniable trust in Desdemona's loyalty. However, from this dispute, an uneasiness in Othello slowly surfaces as he begins to subconsciously accept something he's been avoiding in his mind: that being black would cause Desdemona to be unfaithful.

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