The Talent of Iago in Shakespeare's Othello

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The Talent of Iago in Othello

William Shakespeare's Othello is a tragic drama that shows the overwhelming power of deception and the damage it can lead to. Othello's right-hand man is Iago; on the surface a die-hard friend and confidant, in reality comparable to the devil himself. Iago uses other characters as though they were his puppets, planting lies and watching the sorrowful fruit born. Iago deceives virtuous, yet weaker men (such as Cassio and Roderigo) with ease, but feels greatly threatened by the most powerful, virtuous general in the land - Othello. Othello's only flaw is jealousy, and Iago exploits this to no end, using him to get what he wants. Iago's talent to manipulate the truth and control other people with his lies is what gives this play momentum.

More than any other characteristic, Iago preys on those who are emotionally unsure of their desires. Iago manages to find ways of altering these characters' perceptions of reality, forcing them to believe in the dark world that Iago has created for them. The main emotions that Iago bends and twists are those of love...

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... Castlerock Entertainment, 1995.

Shakespeare, William. The Tradegy of Othello, The Moor of Venice. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama, sixth edition. Ed. X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. New York: Harper Collins, 1995.

Wright, Louis B. and Virginia A. LaMar. "The Engaging Qualities of Othello." Readings on The Tragedies. Ed. Clarice Swisher. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1996. Reprint from Introduction to The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice by William Shakespeare. N. p.: Simon and Schuster, Inc., 1957
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