She’s Just Not That Into you Roderigo!

In reading Act I of Shakespeare’s Othello, it begins as another story about a man (Roderigo) whose in love with a woman (Desdemona) whose in love with someone else (Othello). Roderigo is then bent on seeking revenge towards Othello when Desdemona was never interested in him anyway. I just wonder with so many of Shakespeare’s plays have this “triangle” concept within them. Was it a situation he experienced, or something he witnessed in others relationships? That being said this play also starts off with the concept of love, jealousy, betrayal, and drama to capture your attention.
Roderigo starts off by questioning Iago’s friendship due to the fact Iago didn’t tell him about Desdemona’s relationship with Othello before she got married “Tush, never tell me! I take it much unkindly That thou, Iago, who hast had my purse As if the strings were thine, shouldst know of this.” (1.1 1-3) Why did Iago have his purse? Did Roderigo pay him to woo Desdemona for him? Is that one of the reasons Roderigo was so besides himself? Roderigo then goes on to question if Iago truly hates Othello as much as he claims “Thou told’st me thou didst hold him in thy hate.” (1.1 6) Roderigo acted as if Desdemona was once his lover, but Othello came and stole her from him, which doesn’t seem to be the case. Why the hatred for Othello because Desdemona was in love with him? Why wasn’t he mad at her instead? Roderigo even went so far as to say he’d like to kill Othello “By heaven, I rather would have been his hangman.” (1.1 33) This seems so dramatic for Roderigo to say given the fact that before Othello was in the picture he didn’t stand a chance, and with Othello out of the picture he wouldn’t stand a chance.
Desdemona’s father Brabanzio also seems to think that Roderigo is pathetic because he can’t take no for an answer and that his daughter is still not interested in marrying him “I have charged thee not to haunt my doors. In honest plainness thou hast heard me say My daughter is not for thee…” Obviously Brabanzio didn’t think Roderigo was good enough for his daughter or he would have demanded that she marry him. Yet Roderigo continued to create trouble for Desdemona and Othello by telling her father about their elopement. He then goes on to say he will “drown” himself because to live without her is “torment.” I think Roderigo needs to move on with his life, Desdemona’s a married woman now and if she became single again she still wouldn’t be into him.

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2 thoughts on “She’s Just Not That Into you Roderigo!

  1. ciandalton94

    I found that interesting as well in reading this part of the play. This was my first time reading Othello and it struck me as odd that Roderigo is so jealous and angry at something that he had no control over. Othello on the other hand seems to be calm and mature, something which Roderigo and Iago are evidently not.

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  2. cmstewart024

    In my opinion, Shakespeare writes often about a love triangle because it brings out the most dangerous, interesting, and awful quality in human beings; jealousy. And of course, drama sells tickets! (Just look at one episode of any reality TV show these days) Roderigo is an important character in the play, dutifully done by Shakespeare because he is the catalyst to all of the drama and tragedy. If he did not hopelessly love Desdemona than why would Iago have a reason to take down Othello? Roderigo’s romantic side only allows for other characters in the play to exhibit their jealousies, thus moving the plot along in an interesting and entertaining way. Good questioning post!

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