Welcome my Lord Duke of Venice, Senators and loyal citizens of Venice. We gather here today to mark the passing of out valiant Othello. A noble leader, gallant warrior, devoted husband and loyal friend. His leadership unlike no other, his military prowess he used to lead his soldiers will for ever be high in the esteem of the Venetian State. This man woefully fell victim to his own fatal flaws as he was exposed to the trap of the “green eyed monster “. A tragic loss of a man founded by strength but plagued only by one weakness.
It prides me, Michael Cassio, former lieutenant of Othello to be able to stand before you, to express my gratitude and passion for our general. He was not only my officer, but a mentor and a friend. His death now casts a shadow on Venice and Cyprus, his light that shined as bright as a lighthouse, has smouldered into ash.
Othello and I met on the rough seas of battle, he was the leading general of our fleet. At the time I was a soldier, scrawny and doubtful. My persistence to one day stand before my proud general would be a day of great pride, but I was only another number. But if it weren’t for the stars alignment one day, when Othello saw something that not even I could see. He taught me not to accept defeat, but to get back up after I fell. There are no words for how thankful I am for his elite leadership, a man’s leadership build on pure trust, honour and faith. His trust in me helped me engrave my name as a soldier, a soldier that fought proudly beside Othello. If it weren’t for Othello, I wouldn’t be standing here, as the man I am today.
He was a man of strength, many who knew him gravitated toward such a warrior. He was a leader to many who fought beside him. He was a man poise; thus he didn’t ever use his authority to humiliate or degrade his fellow men. His exotic background brought our cultures and beliefs into a brotherhood. Our brotherhood did not have ranks or status, together we fought as a team, as a family. Othello, leading us every inch of the way , he knew royalty, and he knew the burden of the slave, both fostered in his compassion and understanding of a soldier.
But we all saw the change in his eyes when he first met Desdemona, She challenged his strength and was his true love, and only weakness . Desdemona gave him the comfort that was very foreign to him. Someone that loved him beyond his stories and stature, she cared for his misfortunes and shame. She became a part of him, an extra hand, a shield from his reality .
Othello’s strength proved to be one of his biggest weaknesses, he succumbed to the pressure of jealously. His strength tormented, rotted by dis-honest Iago . His lion heart squeezed dry by corrupt time. Not even a warrior could stand the pain of drowning in his own jealously and guilt. His promises fell through his fingers like sand, his words –
“I’ll see before I doubt; when I doubt, prove;
And on the proof, there is no more but this:
Away at once with love or jealousy .”
His demise was beyond repair, murdered by twisted words.
Let us learn from this man. His message needs to resonate between each city. Do not let us become misguided and swayed by those who present us with out own personal issues. Let us not become overcome by our own imagination that we cannot trust those who are devoted to. In his own words, “The robbed that smiles steals something from the thief, He robs himself that spends a bootless grief.” As we celebrate his passing, lets not weep to the fact he is gone, than it us who loses. Celebrate his passing so his rein lives on, his spirit will guide us into battle, lead us to the light and not be misguided.
Farewell Othello; noble leader, gallant warrior, devoted husband and loyal friend. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. We will remember him.
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