Theme Of Manipulation In Othello

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Manipulation is a characteristic that can ruin the lives of many, treacherously and maliciously. Several characters in Othello and Macbeth manipulate others throughout the plays to try and satisfy their own needs and desires. The irony in the two plays is that Othello, has a villain who logically should never succeed in his evil because he is surrounded by so much good. However, Iago does succeed in destroying the lives of nearly everyone in the play, and for the weakest of justifications. In Macbeth, on the other hand, the title character seems to win his evil game, but in the end the good beats him, and he pays with his life. By looking at both William Shakespeare’s Othello and Macbeth, one can see how methodical manipulation succeeds despite the goodness within the environment, and how it may appear to triumph when it does not, despite the evil surrounding it.
In William Shakespeare’s Othello, ignoble Iago never fails to succeed with his manipulations. The key to success in manipulating Othello is based on the social differences of the characters. Iago, as Othello’s servant, is the premise and foundation on which his character is able to succeed. Iago, known for his “honesty,” is clever enough to cover his own desires for taking down any happiness Othello has. He continuously feigns his loyalty and virtuousness towards Othello by giving him the “best” advice; however, it is all just an act. Not only does Iago manipulate Othello, but also any individual who falls into the various traps he sets. While the musician and the clown argue over who serves as the best entertainer, Cassio speaks to Iago asking him for advice about what to tell Othello. After their deep conversation Iago tells Cassio, “I humbly thank you for’t....

... middle of paper ... Restitution is useless. Therefore, while good may finally come to the rescue in Macbeth, it seems completely defeated in Othello.
Anyone can be manipulated into false ideas that lead him into destruction. To manipulate someone, the manipulator has to be careful enough to not let the other person notice the lies, treachery, betrayal, and the great hate for good in general. Shakespeare once observed that “the evil men do lives after them/the good is oft interred with their bones.” That seems to be the case with the two tragedies of Macbeth and Othello. Whatever good had once been in Macbeth is long gone, cut off years before his head was. The evil that Iago does has destroyed two families, and that evil cannot be undone. It will live on. If the manipulator is sedulous and meticulous with manipulating then he will never fail to destroy the lives of others.
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