Othello dies at the end of the play by committing suicide. The character stabs himself with a knife out of an immense feeling of guilt. The reason for his death is jealousy and, as a result, a faulty murder of his wife, Desdemona.
Othello and Desdemona’s death are two significant events of act 5 of Shakespeare’s Othello. The main character undergoes a journey of doubt and suspicion. Being influenced by Iago’s rumors, he assumes that Desdemona is secretly involved with Cassio. This eventually leads to jealousy overtaking his logical sense. As a result, Othello kills Desdemona, only to find out that the suspicions were false. Unable to take on the responsibility for his actions, Othello commits suicide. He stabs himself and dies pronouncing the following words:
“I kiss’d thee ere I kill’d thee: no way but this;
Killing myself, to die upon a kiss.”
(Act 5, scene 2)
There are three reasons for Othello’s demise:
- Lack of trust
- Inability to listen to reason
Being unconfident about Desdemona’s loyalty, Othello starts suspecting her. Instead of asking for a direct answer, the main character creates an unlikely scenario. This mistake of distrust makes him vulnerable to Iago’s harmful manipulation. Finally, Othello’s tragic flaw makes him act irresponsibly and murder Desdemona.
Before stabbing himself with a knife, Othello is overwhelmed with the emotion of immense guilt and self-pity. As a final remark, he pronounces a closing speech that is often titled “Othello’s Speech“. During the emotional monologue, the main character expresses a wish to be remembered:
“Speak of me as I am; nothing extenuate,
Nor set down aught in malice: then must you speak
Of one that loved not wisely but too well;
Of one not easily jealous, but being wrought
Perplex’d in the extreme”
(Act 5, scene 2)
Then, Othello stabs himself, giving an end to Shakespeare’s tragic tale of jealousy.