Analysis Of William Shakespeare 's Othello

828 Words4 Pages
There are many reasons why we study William Shakespeare’s plays today. There is the insight into human nature that he knows well, allusions to old mythology and legends, and others. However, one reason stands out above the rest: his power of language. Also, this power of language is clearly shown in his play, Othello, through Iago, the antagonist of the play. Iago, who is an ensign of Othello, is furious that he was not given the promotion of lieutenancy. As a result, he uses his craftiness and his “power of language” to take revenge on Othello. Although his plan foils, he causes Othello to kill his wife Desdemona and commit suicide, all the while he deceives and exploits other characters for his plan. In Othello, Iago demonstrates his power of language through his manipulation of Roderigo, Michael Cassio, and Othello, for his use and liking. Iago shows off his power of language by manipulating Roderigo when he persuades him not to commit suicide. After witnessing Desdemona proclaim her love to Othello and Brabantio, her father, acknowledging their marriage, Roderigo, suitor of Desdemona, tells Iago that he is going to drown himself. However, Iago intervenes, saying “Our bodies are our gardens, to the which our / wills are gardeners.”(1.3.363-364,) persuading Roderigo not to commit suicide but, to take care of himself. Then Iago upholds his words with more persuasions, to further uplift Roderigo. Roderigo then drops his idea of killing himself and when asked by Iago to leave with him to Cyprus and commanded to “Put money in thy purse.”(1.3.182), he does so willingly. Iago’s power of language shines here in that not only does he saves Roderigo from killing himself, but he gains his trust to use let him be used by Iago however he ... ... middle of paper ... ...“power of language” with his manipulation of Othello by provoking him into a severe jealousy, toying with his naiveté characteristics until his doom. Although Iago is ultimately caught of his treacherous acts, he nevertheless, stops showing his “power of language”. In front of Othello, who he has manipulated and exploited, he says “From this time forth I never will speak word”(5.2.356), hurting Othello with words for the last time, not speaking the reason for his revenge against him. Iago, shown through his manipulation of Roderigo, Cassio, and Othello, illustrates his mastery of language by manipulating them to let them be exploited for his revenge plan. Iago’s usage of words to make use of their naïveté and unknowingly let themselves be backstabbed, portrays his mastery of “power of language” and just how convincing and amiable he can sound to make them vulnerable.
Open Document