The play Othello, written by William Shakespeare, is a tragic play that goes over a variety of topics, from love to death. Othello is a tragic play due to its many aspects of death throughout it. One character that falls to the hands of death is one of the main characters, Othello, and another being his wife Desdemona. Each of these deaths are a direct cause of another character’s actions, Iago. Within the play there are scenes of manipulation, betrayal, jealousy, lust, deceit, and murder. This play, Othello, contains many characters that have important roles to the development of the play and the plots that occur. These characters are the ones that make the play what it is and create the various moods and themes throughout the play. The characters …show more content…
Arguably, the most predominant and important character to the play is the character Othello. Othello is considerably an outsider to those in this play. This distance is created and found due to the race of Othello. Within Act 1 Scene 1 of Othello, one of the characters refers to Othello as “thicklips” (Shakespeare, Othello line 68) and another refers to him as “an old black ram” (Shakespeare, Othello line 94). These slurs are indicative of the race of Othello and show that he is unlike the rest of the characters. Though race is a quality of Othello and contributes to his outsider personality, Othello is also very easily manipulated throughout the play. The character Othello is very gullible and gives trust where it is not deserved which is a factor to this easily manipulated personality that he has. As Kyrstin Gallagher states, “Othello seems to be a very impressionable character. He so quickly believes what others tell …show more content…
Iago uses his ability to convince those around him and his hatred, for seemingly the majority, of the other characters to manipulate and accomplish his own ploys. In the beginning of the play, Iago confesses his hatred for Othello. This hatred compels Iago to manipulate others within the play. Iago wishes to cause the most mayhem that he can, and he uses every character to do so. In the play, Iago acts almost as a puppeteer to the other characters, pulling their strings and getting them to do as he wishes. With Othello, Iago tells him that his wife, Desdemona, is cheating on him with Cassio. This manipulation is done due to the pure hate Iago has for Othello and the plan to get Roderigo together with Desdemona. Iago is also seemingly puppeteering Roderigo in hopes to get Cassio killed for both Roderigo to gain Desdemona and for Othello because of the alleged affair with Desdemona. Iago spares no expense when it comes to his plans in the play. As it states in Act 3 Scene 3 “I will in Cassio's lodging lose this napkin, / And let him find it. / Trifles light as air / Are to the jealous confirmations strong / As proofs of holy writ” (Shakespeare, Othello lines 1994-1997). In this excerpt, Iago takes Desdemona’s handkerchief in hopes to frame Cassio and prove the affair. This shows that Iago leaves out no details when manipulating the other characters which shows his true ingenuity and cunning ability when
Northrop Frye once said, “Tragic heroes are so much the highest points in their human landscape that they seem the inevitable conductors of the power about them, great trees more likely to be struck by lightning than a clump of grass. Conductors may of course be instruments as well as victims of the divisive lightning.” Othello is the pillar of tragic heros, first playing the part of a loving husband with a beautiful wife, then being manipulated into believing his wife was cheating on him and killing her. Throughout the play, he played the part of the protagonist, everyone hoping he would figure out Iago was lying to him. Othello being the protagonist made the fact he was also a villain bittersweet. His apparent love for his wife Desdemona, his ‘just’ reasoning for killing her, and Iago’s deserving end all contribute to the tragic work as a whole.
1.) In the play “The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice” written by Williams Shakespeare, he reveals the main themes in Othello’s final speech. The two main themes Othello illustrates in his final speech are reputation and jealousy. In Othello’s speech he says, “When you shall these unlucky deeds relate, speak of me as I am.” (Shakespeare 355), showing the importance of his reputation. He is unable to cope with criticism due to his low-self-esteem and therefore, cares what other individuals have to say about him. Othello’s dark skin is the reason why he does not have high-self-esteem and becomes jealous when Iago tells him about his wife having an affair with Cassio. Othello loves Desdemona but he feels that he is not good enough for her
Shakespeare wrote different types of plays such as comedies, tragedies, and historical plays. The play Othello is one of his tragedies. It is about a character named Othello who is a Moor, in the service of Venice. Throughout the play Iago, Othello's lieutenant, manipulates Othello to believe that Desdemona, Othello's wife, is cheating on him. Various characters in the play Othello appear to be virtuous, upstanding individuals, but their actions reveal that they are not as they appear to be.
Othello: The play's protagonist and hero. A Christian Moor and general of the armies of Venice, Othello is an eloquent and physically powerful figure, respected by all those around him. In spite of his elevated status, he is nevertheless easy prey to insecurities because of his age, his life as a soldier, and his race. He possesses a "free and open nature," which his ensign Iago uses to twist his love for his wife, Desdemona, into a powerful and destructive jealousy
An important reason that makes Iago is such a fascinating character is the fact that there is little known about him. Unlike the other characters in this play, Iago cannot be given any clear description about who he is as a person. Desdemona is the typical pure virgin type, Roderigo is a rich fool in love, and Cassio is a handsome Venetian army Lieutenant. For Iago there is no other apparent about his character other than his snake like personality. The information about him is that he is a general to Othello, and is married to Desdemona’s hand maiden, Emilia. This is all that is known about Iago, the reader is given no background. The main mystery about Iago is why he executes his devious plan. Through the whole play, the reader is looking for reasons or hints as to why Iago has become so evil. By the end of the play there is no clear reason for him going after Othello. When describing why he plans to ruin Othello he gives two reasons; rumors about his wife having an affair with Othello, and a hint about affections for Desdemona. Both of these reasons are said in a vague off-handed type manner, giving the reader no true motive for Iago. Even in the very end of the play, after he’s been caught Iago refuses to give a...
Shakespeare develops the character Iago into an instigator and evil man. Iago attempts and succeeds to convince Othello that his wife has had an affair with his friend Cassio. We see Iago beginning his plans at the very start of the play. “But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve for daws to peck at, I am not what I am.”(Oth 1:1:64-65) He immediately tries to start trouble with Brabantio and Othello over the marriage to Desdemona. Iago want to get in Othello’s way because he was passed over for general and Cassio was chosen instead. We see from the start how he plots against Othello and he involves several characters in his plans. “And what’s he then that says I play the villain? When this advice is free. I give and honest, probal to thinking, and indeed the course to win the Moor again? For tis easy Th’ inclining Desdemona to subdue in any honest suit; she’s framed as fruitful…”(2:3:295-300).
Othello is the central character of the story and Shakespeare emphasizes his nobility and charisma. He has "magic" in the words he uses and the stories he tells and his ability to speak towers above other characters. He is an excellent officer and possesses the virtues of honesty and fortitude.
Of Shakespeare’s five greatest tragedies, Othello is by far the most passionate and gripping. It is a tale of love, deception, evil, honesty, and virtue. Othello himself is set apart from other Shakespearean tragic heroes by the absolute feeling of affection the audience feels for him even unto the very end of the play. Any discerning reader painfully recognizes the virtue and goodness of Othello throughout the entire play, in contrast to the general degeneration of character so typical of a tragic hero. It is this complete pity that makes the death of Othello so tragic as the audience lends their full hopeful support until the inevitable and unavoidable fall. The evil side of Othello’s tragic flaw came from without, in the form of Iago. The internal flaw exists only in his heartrendingly unshakable goodness and honor.
Iago has a sophisticated way of deceiving the characters of the play, making him a very intelligent person. Early in the play Othello introduces Iago to the Duke of Venice as, “My ancient / A man he is of honesty and trust” (!. iii. 284-85). This is but one of the times in the play that Iago is referred to as honest and true. Throughout the play Iago is considered to be honest, but is actuality the villain. In order to maintain this false image one has to have a beguiling character. After Othello and his lieutenant, Michael Cassio, return from the war against the Ottomans, there is a celebration. At this celebration Iago puts his manipulation to work. He knows that Othello and Desdemona’s love for each other is very true, but he tells Rodrigo that Desdemona had love for Cassio: “With as little a web as this will I ensnare as great a fly as Cassio. / Ay, smile upon her, do…” (II. I. 164-65). This quote shows that Iago deceives Roderigo into believing that Desdemona loves Cassio, when in Roderigo’s eyes it is virtually impossible. Iago basically controls Rodrigo because Iago deceives him into believing that he can have Desdemona, by both Cassio and Othello.
In Shakespeare, how does Iago successfully manipulates Othello to destroy him? Iago plots to destroy Othello, he sees potential for his plot working by using Cassio to hit on Othello’s wife Desdemona. Iago then deceives Othello into thinking Desdemona is having an affair with Cassio. Iago destroys Othello by manipulating him into believing in false illusions of an affair between Cassio and Desdemona.
Othello is the main character of the play. He is a moorish general and head of the army of venice. He is a warrior, honest, and loves his new wife Desdemona very much. His only mistake is trusting his ensign, Iago too much and allowing Iago to come between his marriage. Iago makes Othello believe that his wife, Desdemona, is cheating on him.
In the tragedy Othello, Shakespeare creates a mood that challenges the way a person sees his or her self and the world. Subjects like racism, sexism, love, hate, jealously, pride, and trickery are thoroughly developed in the play of Othello to enable the audience to view the characters and also themselves. The Shakespearean tragedy of Othello was written in a time of great racial tensions in England. According to Eldred Jones, in 1600 just three years before Othello was written, Queen Elizabeth proclaimed an Edict for the Transportation of all "negars and blackmoores" out of the country ("Othello- An Interpretation" Critical Essays 39). It is in this atmosphere that Shakespeare began the masterpiece of Othello, a drama about a noble black Arab general, Othello, who falls in love with and marries, Desdemona, a young white daughter of a senator. From the above knowledge one may conclude that Shakespeare wrote Othello to express that all people, of all ethnicity, are basically the same in human nature. Shakespeare borrowed the idea of Othello from an Italian love story by Giraldi Cinthio. However, Shakespeare focuses more on the differences in color and age between Othello and Desdemona than Cinthio. Shakespeare does this to escalate Othello’s isolation from the rest of Venetian society and to display Othello’s vulnerability due to his color. In the tragedy not only is Othello susceptible to weaknesses but so is every major character . The tragedy reminds humans that even one’s good nature can be taken advantage of for the worse. The drama Othello expresses, through relationships and emotional attitudes, a theme that all humans are vulnerable to destruction even if they are in positions of power and glory.
For instance, in the beginning of the play Iago is Othello’s ensign. Although, Othello passes him over for a promotion in favor of Michael Cassio. At this point, Shakespeare begins to put the idea of murderous revenge and deception into Iago’s mind. Shakespeare crafts the character of Iago to be excellent at manipulation through his speech. Frequently, Iago takes advantage of his manipulative skills throughout the play. In Act I scene I line 81-83, Iago calls up to Desdemona’s Father to spread false rumors of Othello. After all Iago does say, “Call up her father. Make after him, poison his delight, proclaim him in the streets” (1.1.69-71). Already from this small segment, the audience learns that Iago is a
Iago’s hatred of Othello and Cassio causes him to seek revenge and he is able to succeed because his victims are too innocent to suspect him. Iago is a Machiavellian Shakespearean character who cunningly convinces his victims of his full moral support and proves his innocence in a way that his victims do not suspect him. When Cassio finishes his conversation with Desdemona about how he will not have his job back, Iago unfolds his mischievous plan against Desdemona when he says that, “so will I turn her virtue into pitch, And out of her own goodness make the net that shall enmesh them all” (Shakespeare, 49). Iago plans to destroy Othello and Desdemona’s marriage by using Desdemona’s kindness toward Cassio against her and make her look unfaithful in front of her noble hu...
Already, in Act I, the reader can see how Iago is playing to Rodrigo’s emotions in order to gain personal revenge on Othello. The reader can see that Iago will use Roderigo as a pawn in his plan; knowing Roderigo will do whatever he says. Iago’s reasons as to why he would offer to break up Othello and Desdemona’s marriage include that he is outraged that Othello promoted Casillo instead of him and that he has suspicions that Othello slept with his wife, Emilia (1203). This is the driving factor to Iago’s deceitful actions in the play.