Theme Of Jealousy And Manipulation In Othello

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The play, Othello is one of the most famous tragedies composed by William Shakespeare during the Renaissance period. It powerfully portrays a world where the acts of evil ultimately vanquishes fidelity, nobility and integrity. The central themes jealousy and manipulation embodies the foretold tragedies and the downfall tragedies of the characters due to one’s insecurities. Through the use of literary techniques and figurative language, Shakespeare has effectively explored the themes of jealousy and manipulation. Machiavellian politics describes how politicians achieve power through their own selfish needs by denying the morality of political affairs to maintain their political power. In Othello, Machiavellian traits are seen through the…show more content…
In Othello, The Great Chain of being is seen through the antagonist Iago who extensively uses racial prejudice and animalistic language to dehumanise Othello as an animal or beast, purely because of his complexion. In the beginning of the play, Machiavellian Iago pursues to report and persuade Brabantio of Desdemona and Othello’s secret elopement in the middle of the night. Iago abruptly bellowed, “an old black ram….is tupping your ewe” (I.I.85-86). Metaphor has been used to add more offence to Iago’s directive insult of Othello by metaphorically, comparing him to a sexually, aggressive animal in a malevont phrase. The infusion of strong animalistic descriptive language and animal imagery is used to illustrate the hostility towards Othello’s ethnicity and both Desdemona’s and Othello’s interracial marriage to which causes the audience to instinctively analyse for the character’s weaknesses. Furthermore, Iago’s incorporation of animalistic terms allowed him to control his victims, to be more susceptible to his manipulation. In the later scenes, Iago’s manipulative character is further shown when he witnessed Cassio leaving Desdemona’s room without the acknowledgement of Othello, so he used this as an opportunity to report back to Othello by manipulating Desdemona having an affair with…show more content…
Iago finished his argument with the declaration; “But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve, for daws to peck at,” I am not what I am” (I.I.66-67). Iago metaphorically personifies that “wearing your heart on your sleeve” is a precarious move because if your true intentions are visible, it weakens you to allow you to be the target of attack. However, in literal meanings, humans are metaphorically symbolised as ‘birds’ to contrast the nature of human behaviour to animals. Iago’s metaphorical statement “I am not what I am” alludes to the biblical connotations in the bible, chapter Exodus 4:14 when Moses asks for God’s name in which God strongly responded back “I AM WHAT I AM” which opposes to Iago’s open declaration, to reference him to be the devil for acquiring villainous traits and motives. The dominant implementation of the handkerchief was the most significant motif of the play as it rapidly endured different meanings, from a love token to represent Desdemona’s and Othello’s marriage bond to Desdemona’s sudden fatality. The handkerchief was a vital element for Iago manipulative schemes because he knew the importance of the sentimental value, to which he used it to manipulate it to symbolise Desdemona’s chastity and fidelity. Iago’s purpose of the handkerchief was to be a mere suspicion and a circumstantial evidence strong enough to feed Othello’s
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