In Shakespeare's Othello many terrible situations befall on the characters contained in the play. Our main and title character, Othello, is especially ravished by evil deeds. He looses his mind, his wife and his own life all within the span of about two acts. It is all the more tragic because Shakespeare builds up the character of Othello as one of his greatest literary heroes. However to combat Othello's truly heroic personality Shakespeare creates a character as evil as Othello is good. It is Iago, the antagonist of the play, who seems to hate Othello and his heroic image with no apparent motive present. Although Othello's heroic nature fails him when Iago manipulates his thoughts to be against his wife, Desdemona, another heroic character steps in to finally put the evil to rest. In a twist of irony it turns out that Iago's own wife, Emilia, who picks up the sword of heroism to combat the evil of Iago. It is for about only one act that this play is without a truly honorable hero. It is because Othello looses his trust for Desdemona that his heart is turned to madness. However it is because Emilia keeps her trust in Desdemona that allows her to be heroic.
Othello, the man, is one of the greatest generals in Venice. However Othello is also an outsider in Venice. He is described as a moor or a member of a Muslim people of mixed Berber and Arab descent. His skin color is what sets him apart from the Venetians. However instead of deeming him with negative qualities because of his skin color Shakespeare blesses him with heroic abilities as well as the heart of a hero. The audience sees how much Othello trusts his wife in the first act. Barbantio, Desdemona's father, takes great offense to his daughter marrying a man of dark skin. He claims that Othello has wooed Desdemona "By spells and medicines bought of mountebanks" (1.3.70). However we see that Othello's heroism transcends any racial barrier when the Duke and Othello dismiss Barbantio's claim of "Witchcraft" (1.