When we discuss the role of chance & coincidence, we come to know that most of the Shakespearean dramas Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear, Winter’s Tale, Othello etc. are full of such incidents. But Othello has always been considered a remarkable one – as a great critic – Bradly illustrates the role of fate in the following lines: The past played by accident in this catastrophe, accentuates the feeling of fate.

‘The skill of lago was extraordinary, but so was his good fortune”.

At some crucial moments, chance plays its an important role such as with Desdemona; a chance meeting of Othello and Cassio, Desdemona’s handkerchief drops at the moment which is very favorable to him, Cassio blunders into the pressure of Othello only to find him in a sworn. Bianca arrives precisely at. that moment when she is wanted to complete Othello’s deception and increases his anger to ultra anger. All these chance happenings show us that there is no escape from fate &. man is puppet in the hands of fate or destiny.

It was fete of lago which favors him in the certain moments and which ultimately destroys the character of Othello both mentally and physically. All these above mentioned lucky happenings strengthen Othello’s suspicion & finally his anger takes him into revenge and he kills his beloved & sincere wife under the attacks of suspicion on him at every moment.

There are some important factors of contrivance on lago’s side in the seeming incidents. For instance, Brabantio is called in the beginning to find out or learn of Desdemona’s deception of him and thus to embarrass and disturb Othello with his outery and ultimately to pave the way for Othello’s distrust and unconfidence in her.

“Look to her, moor, it thou hast eyes to see: 

She has deceived her father, and may thee”.

It is by chance that Desdemona’s handkerchief drops and reaches to Emilia who picks it up & gives it to lago. He leaves it in Cassio’s room & uses it as a proof to convince Othello of Desdemona’s cheating on him. Here, Othello builds up a heap of suspicions. Now, lago has made Othello suspicious about Cassio -Desdemona’s illegal relationship because here Othello was not watching his eyes; means to say that he was not using his own sense but was watching the matter with lago’s eyes.

Only on this evidence, Othello becomes passionate which means to say that his passion dominates on his reason & wisdom because now he has completely surrendered himself to lago. Here once again, A.C. Bradley gives his opinion & says that role of chance lessens the tragedy of character but it is very difficult and hard to agree to this saying because there are not only circumstances, or situations which assign the duty of taking revenge to Othello but his prudence and reason are responsible for him. If he had rightly used his sense & controlled his passion by reason then he would have been able to avert his tragic end of life. On the other hand, the power of evil and lago’s malice & villainy destroy his reason and he becomes the slave of passion.

So, owing to the influence of passion and without understanding, what he is doing, he commits tragically wrong in all aspects. Whatever he had done, he was himself responsible for that because at the end, he confessed it & recognized it. Before committing suicide, he regretted for the wrong done. in The plot constructions of Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet and Othello also consist of accidents or co-incidents because there are also unexpected turns in the growth of action. But there, unlike Hamlet, Claudius, Friar and Laurance, lago himself contrives his tragic end of life by using the wrong use of his reason, just to satisfy his purposes.Characters had always been more important than “chance” and coincidence because after all they execute the end of a play.

Desdemona, being a Venetian; and it is said that Venice is notorious for its women of loose character. Othello, being a man of prompt determinations and abrupt feelings, & emotions, is very easily & deeply impressed by lago’s honesty, which is actually his villainy. Othello, is a military man and he had always been busy in war adventures & experiences and that’s why, he had very less knowledge of woman’s nature and then how could he know Desdemona deeply? He had always a very little time to culture or civilize himself in Desdemona’s society due to his military engagements, In fact, he was not a man of studying human psyche & character in depth, that’s why, lago dominates on his reason very easily. His weakness of character lies in it that he has less ability of judging other’s characters.

Actually, he is trapped in the grip of jealousy and has become a victim of overwhelming passion which is uncontrollable for him and which has blinded him and he does not know what he is going to do.  To conclude this discussion, it can be said that this is the tragedy of the play for which he is himself responsible and no chance happening or coincidence can be taken as a responsible force for his tragic end. lago has himself illustrated in his soliloquies, how & why it all happened.

As we know that lago is a villain and this villainy of him also diminishes the role of chance. Rather, it can be said that “Othello’ is a tragedy of intrigue and conspiracy. Though chance or fate is the principal force of shaping and reshaping man’s life & its role cannot be denied yet sometimes man’s own flaw in his character is also responsible for his tragic end of life. As in “Othello” not chance but his misuse of reason is responsible for his tragic end of life.


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