These themes such as ethnicity, betrayal, and love are what make this play one of Shakespeares greatest tragedies. One of the more noticeable themes that Shakespeare discusses in this play is Ethnicity. The main villain in this play is Iago; who is a soldier under Othellos command. Iago tells Othello numerous lies about Desdemona and Othellos friend, and former right-hand man, Cassio. Shakespeare covers quite a few of the major issues that are still facing society today. Othello is a moor that somehow managed to climb his way up the ladder to the rank of general. At this time in history, blacks were considered to be barbarians, and murderous heathens. Even though it may have been the right thing to do this betrayal led to her and her husbands deaths. Desdemona is the only one that seems innocent in this play, but she also contributes to the theme of betrayal. Iago does such a good job at deceiving Othello, that Othello believes that the only way out of this situation is to kill his wife. Like most villains Iagos treachery only leads to his own downfall.
It is a very rare thing that a black man would be able to obtain the rank of general in a predominantly Caucasian army. It caused quite a bit of jealousy among the other officers serving under Othello.