It’s so harrowing, because you know what’s coming. It doesn’t take long for the outcome to be visible, (pretty typical of shakespeare), but like R&J, I still hope it won’t happen.
Othello is an idiot, yes, for listening to Iago and not trusting his wife, but in some ways, it makes sense. He’s fought with Iago and there is a bond between brothers at arms that transcends the intimacy of a marriage. Also, he and Desdemona don’t really know each other all that well. To me, it seems that due to Othello’s outsider-ness, he struggles with self-loathing as different as he is from those he lives near. Had he been okay with himself and who he was, he might have believed the best of his wife, and not his ‘friend’.
Friendship wins out over marriage in this play. Not just with Othello and his trusting of Iago over his wife, but Emilia’s defiance of her husband at the end, in order to ‘save’ her friend, Desdemona’s reputation. She is fierce and I really love her as a character.
Iago…is brilliant. Evil as all get out (jealousy and envy don’t just relate to Othello), but so smart about how he goes around to enact his plans for revenge. His ability to twist those around him (Roderigo and others)…just brilliant. A smart villain is far more interesting than a tortured hero. Sorry, Othello.