Manipulative In Othello Essay Iago

Iago As A Manipulator Essay

Perhaps one of the most interesting and complex characters in the tragic play Othello by William Shakespeare is ?honest? Iago. Iago seems to be a ?motiveless malignity?, but the motivation for his actions is his quest for personal gain, need for power and revenge on Othello, instead of just being evil for evil?s sake. Iago?s villainous actions, which cause the demise of the main characters of the play, can be seen by examining his manipulation of Roderigo, Cassio and most importantly Othello.

Iago?s main interest is the destruction of Othello - not even Othello is safe from this villain. Iago seems to have reason for his actions, including the fact that Othello passed over Iago for promotion. Othello has chosen another man, Cassio, as his second in command, preferring him to Iago. This causes Iago to get angry because he thins that he is much better than Othello?s choice, Cassio. Iago believes that Cassio does not have the experience that he does, and this begins the play, and Iago?s conspiracy against the other members of the play. This, as well as Iago?s made up lies of adultery, as well as his possible racism, cause Iago to clearly dislike the Moor and, shortly after, he begins to conspire against him. It is towards hell that Iago constantly looks for inspiration; Hell and the Devil are constantly in his mouth: Hell and night must bring this monstrous birth to the world?s light (1.3.397) and Divinity of hell! When devil?s will the blackest sins put on, they do suggest with heavenly shows as I do now... (2.3.339) and I do hate him as I do hell pains (1.1.155) These references to the Devil and to Hell show Iago?s ill-famed mind. The reader quickly learns Iago is much too smart to kill Othello immediately, and begins to ?kill? Othello emotionally by manipulating him into believing that Iago is trustworthy.

The first to fall victim to Iago?s manipulation is the dim witted Roderigo. Iago knows Roderigo is in love with Desdemona, and would do anything to make her his own. Iago takes advantage of his weakness for Desdemona and tells Roderigo that the only way to won Desdemona's love, is to ?...put money in thy purse?. (1.3.339) Iago is taking the money and gifts intended for Desdemona, and by doing so, making a substantial profit. Iago keeps Roderigo in the dark during the whole play, and by doing this, Roderigo is unaware he is helping Iago with his master plan, the destruction of Othello. Iago uses Roderigo to start a fight with Cassio, which leads to Cassio losing his position as Othello?s lieutenant. When Roderigo questions Iago?s honesty, Iago simply offers that killing Cassio (Othello?s right-hand man) will aid in his quest for Desdemona's love, and stupid Roderigo falls for it. Although even Iago says, ?I have...

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Essay on Iago as Expert Manipulator in Shakespeare's Othello

1066 Words5 Pages

Iago as Expert Manipulator in Othello

In Othello, by William Shakespeare, the character of Iago cleverly and skillfully alters the appearance of reality within certain characters minds that are clouded by emotion. While Iago does deceive both Cassio and Roderigo, the most vulnerable character to Iago's treachery appears to be Othello. By being a good director and manipulator of emotions and intentions, Iago carries out his plan to exploit Othello's mental weakness almost flawlessly. Iago's ability to bend and sometimes replace the truth with his own lies drives the overall action of the play.

The characters most vulnerable to Iago's manipulation seem to be the ones that appear the most emotionally confused. Iago…show more content…

The pestilence turns into the words Iago uses to create the illusion inside Othello's mind that Cassio made love to Desdemona. Iago fulfills this plan in the middle of the next act as he relates an alternate version of the truth to Othello, thus manipulating reality inside Othello's mind. Othello, upon hearing Iago's upsetting words, demands proof of the adultery between Cassio and Desdemona. This demand leads Iago to assume more of a director's role so that he can manipulate the action of the play as well as the minds of the characters.

Iago's ability to direct and stage the action of the play demonstrates his ability to alter the appearance of things. An important example of the way in which Iago manipulates the action arises at the moment that he obtains Othello's handkerchief, which had been given to Desdemona. The handkerchief becomes the one object that leads to the destruction of Othello, Desdemona, and Emilia and eventually the downfall of Iago himself. After unknowingly being deceived by Iago, Othello, in a rage of jealousy and anger, demands proof of Desdemona's unfaithfulness. This proof manifests into the handkerchief which Bianca brings to Cassio while Iago directs Othello to hide in a place that he can witness the action take place. In the movie, Othello hides behind cell bars while Iago confronts Cassio. The scene in which Iago reveals to Othello firsthand of Cassio's evil deed determines that Iago's ability to stage

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