The fact the Othello is an outsider in the play is crucial to the development of the plot, theme, and resolution of the story. Because the dramatic action depends heavily on the fact of Othello’s “exoticism” which causes both admiration and envy among the play’s minor characters, including Iago and Desdemona. Because Othello is a competent general and a trained tactician it is important that he be in a foreign land, an area not totally understood by him, in order that his tragedy be plausible. Because he is a foreigner he does not know who tot rust and who not tot rust and his most-trusted companions and friends are not nearby; because of his solitary standing, Iago is able to fully take advantage of Othello and drive him to murder Desdemona.
One of the most important themes of the play is the theme of how a war-like soldier makes a transition into the domestic world of marriage and erotic affairs. Because Othello is a “stranger in a strange land” his experience of Venice and of the people there including Desdemona is one of an outsider first-experiencing things, therefore it is more likely that his enemy would succeed in convincing him of the treacheries of those around him.
Othello’s monologue in Act 5, Scene 2, where he talks to Gratiano, after murdering his own wife shows Othello’s full and sudden comprehension that he is in a foreign land and has found, ironically, that the true enemy is himself. The impact of Othello’s militaristic vision of the world; as a conqueror is frustrated by the delicate, ambiguous and feminine domestic sphere of love and sexual monogamy: an exotic foreign land. For Othello, force is the tool for dealing with “foreign”; Othello sees that his true enemy is himself: and that enemy must be dispatched by force.