Othello Literary Analysis

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Introduction

In Shakespeare’s Othello, Iago represents an influential manipulator who is able to affect many characters, particularly Othello and Cassio. It can be claimed that his reasons are purely driven by his own complexes, as his purpose in the plot is to devastate Othello’s life. To achieve this, he employs psychological manipulation of Othello’s emotions and causes him to believe the lie that Cassio and Desdemona love each other. This effectively implies that Iago aims at anyone who reveals his self-doubts, which provides him with an excuse to take revenge on these people and murder or injure them to feel superior.

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How Shakespeare develops the plot to a tragic twist

At the outset, Iago gives the impression that his hatred for Othello is caused by the fact that he made Cassio his lieutenant. Subsequently, the reader understands that Iago’s hatred spreads even further. “I hate the Moor, and abroad they say that “he mixed up my sheets, he made my office”: I do not know if it is true, but I, for a mere suspicion of this kind, will do so, as if to be sure.” Othello and Iago’s wife Emilia are widely speculated to have slept with each other. In the mentioned above statement, Iago declares that he does not care if these rumors are false and that he is about to carry on with his plot as if they were true. During the entire play Iago keeps reminding himself why he has to take revenge on Othello. His hatred for Cassio is more focused. Iago hates Cassio for being promoted to lieutenant despite his lack of experience in the area, because he is a more strategic and calculating individual. “More than a diva, except for the book theorist”. Iago, in essence, argues that Cassio’s lack of courage increases his hatred for him.

Everyone in the play is deceived in an individual way. For instance, Roderigo is “blinded by his love for Desdemona, and is prepared to do anything to win her heat”, which provides Iago with the opportunity to take his vulnerability and turn it against him. When Othello requests evidence of his wife’s infidelity, Iago is again in a position to manipulate Othello into sneaking away and eavesdropping on his conversation with Cassio. However, once Cassio has Iago cornered, he begins to talk about Bianca, but turns it around on Othello as if the men are actually discussing Desdemona. He whispers so that Othello can’t overhear him, and thus worries Othello, leading to his delirium. As previously stated, Cassio is also under the influence of Iago. The first method of tricking Cassio is that Iago forces him to take a drink under pressure and then initiates a brawl, which subsequently ruins Cassio’s image. Initially, Iago suggests to Cassio that he should drink in the name of Othello, although he is aware that he is unwilling and incapable of doing so. Iago deceives Cassio into committing something unacceptable. Othello and Cassio are abused by Iago because they both make fair, trustworthy friends and have trouble judging temperament.

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The other method Iago exploits Cassio is when he places a handkerchief in Cassio’s room. “I know not neither, I found it in my chamber. I like the work well. Ere it be demanded, As like enough it will, I would have it copied. Take it and do ’t, and leave me for this time.”. Cassio declares when he delivers it to Bianca. Cassio has no clue how the handkerchief ended up in his chamber. Iago put it there to enclose him and produce the impression that he is having an affair with Desdemona. Iago takes advantage of Cassio’s lack of awareness because Cassio did not know that the handkerchief had been owned by Desdemona. In both situations, Iago manipulates Othello and Iago by sweetening the truth.

Iago indeed feels superior after he devastates people’s lives; this is proven over the course of the story as Iago manipulates and exerts control over every other character so skillfully that they act as mere puppets that he directs. Towards the close of the play, Iago’s manipulations have created a wake of devastation that has murdered Othello and Cassio, but also others and ruined the destinies of many who stayed behind. Iago’s goals and reasoning are very misleading and devious, and his power to affect is absolutely remarkable. Iago’s actions determine a man who will leave no stone unturned until he takes revenge on all those who he believes have wronged him in one manner or another. Shakespeare introduced Iago as a nice and honorable soldier, he was also renowned as honest Iago, thereby revealing that all people are not what they appear to be on the surface. Already realizing that Iago harbors hatred for his superior Othello and now Cassio, Roderigo states: “Thou told’st me thou didst hold him in thy hate,” “Despise me if I do not,” Iago responds. This takes place in the first stages of the play.

Conclusion

Iago deceives Othello by presenting “ocular” evidence, but does not enable him to hear and comprehend correctly. Regarding Cassio, he exploited his companionship to throw the handkerchief. Both Othello and Cassio are innocent, they have trouble understanding people, they are overly arrogant to accept that someone is deceiving them, and their lack of awareness of what is happening in their lives enables Iago to succeed in manipulating Othello’s consciousness and driving him mad, and to keep Cassio in a position where he has no place. Othello and Cassio became targets of Iago’s manipulations because they possessed something that Iago did not.

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