Destruction by Manipulation in Shakespeare’s Othello Essay

Destruction by Manipulation in Shakespeare’s Othello Essay

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William Shakespeare’s Othello, the Moor of Venice is a play of great manipulation and jealousy. Iago is the antagonist character of the play Othello. Iago becomes irate and filled with jealousy when Othello names Michael Cassio as his lieutenant, because Iago believed he should have been the one promoted not Michael Cassio. By manipulating everyone around him, Iago portrays himself as an honest noble man whom can be trusted. Iago being known for the honest man he earns everyone’s trust and therefore learns their weakness for his ultimate plan of destruction. Iago’s greatest skill is disguising his manipulative schemes of destroying and betraying the ones around him with what he leads people to believe as honesty. Iago uses their weaknesses, secrets, and fears to ruin the names Michael Cassio, Othello, Desdemona, and anyone who stands in his way.
Iago puts his first of many destructive plans into motion; destroying Michael Cassio’s honor and reputation. When Michael Cassio explains, “I have very poor and unhappy brains/ For drinking” (2.3.28-9). Iago has achieved manipulation by learning of Cassio’s weakness of alcohol. He devises a quick plan to sabotage Cassio and his position as lieutenant. Iago encourages Michael Cassio drinking one beverage after another. So far, Iago’s deceitful honesty is paying off. While Michael Cassio stumbles away, Iago confides in Montano. He reveals to Montano, “He is a soldier to fit by Caesar/ And give direction. And do but see his vice. / ‘Tis to his virtue a just equinox. / The one as long as the other. ‘Tis pity of him” (2.3.103-6). Iago portrays to be concerned about Michael Cassio’s “drinking problem” and Othello’s judgment of all the responsibility put on Cassio to Montano. Iago is...


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...ct! Word of Michael Cassio having his lovely wife’s handkerchief and the conversation gives him the proof he needed. This is exactly how Iago planned his final plan to ruin Othello and he succeeds. Othello murders his wife and then takes his own life.
Iago is the ultimate manipulator. He set his goal to destroy lives of anyone who is in his way of becoming lieutenant in rage. He accomplishes his ultimate goal in destroying Othello. Michael Cassio is just a fatality for getting Iago’s dream of being lieutenant. This would not be possible without Iago being deceitful about being honest and a friend. He learned to play on ones fears and weaknesses to achieve his goal. Iago’s motivation is bitterness from not getting his promotion. In the end Iago has completed what he set out to do by using jealousy and manipulation to destroy all that came in his evil path.

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