Iago's Manipulation of Characters in William Shakespeare's Othello Essay

Iago's Manipulation of Characters in William Shakespeare's Othello Essay

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Iago's Manipulation of Characters in William Shakespeare's Othello


The play 'Othello' was created by William Shakespeare. Othello is a
tale set in Venice at the time when adultery was a hanging offence. It
is a tale all about jealousy and manipulation by one of the main
characters, Iago. It was originally created by Giraldi Cinthio and was
titled: 'The Story of Disdemona of Venice and the Moorish Captain'
Shakespeare created his play by taking the characters and location and
then adapting it to his own style for effect.

Iago manipulates the characters by revealing and exploiting their
fatal flaws to bring about their downfall. Iago uses Othello's
jealousy of Cassio to make Othello believe he is having an affair with
Desdemona. Iago uses Desdemona's trust and love for Othello to bring
about her downfall. Iago even uses his wife's trust to make her not
notice his schemes. Iago also uses Cassio's fatal flaw, trust. Cassio
is in love with Desdemona. Iago has his own weakness too, greed. He is
greedy for power and is jealous of Cassio for being promoted above
him, and will do anything to stop Othello and Cassio.

In act 1 scene 1, Iago starts to manipulate Othello straight away.
Iago is speaking to Roderigo about how he despises Othello and wants
revenge. Iago refers to Othello as 'it' or 'him' never speaking his
name, this is used to make Iago sound more devious, and to give more
effect to the scene. Iago carries on and says that he also hates
Cassio for getting 'his job' by being promoted to lieutenant ahead of
him, a promotion, Iago feels, should have belonged to him. Iago vows
that he will get revenge upon Othel...

... middle of paper ...

... realising until the damage had been done.

Iago managed this by using rhetoric in his manipulation. He uses Ethos
- the use of an authority or educator to break up arguments - and he
uses Pathos - the use of emotive language and imagery to add dramatic
effect - and finally Logos - the use of logic, data and statistics. He
carefully uses all of these on all characters throughout the play to
bring about their deaths.

An example of Ethos was when Iago talks to Montano about Othello and
Cassio's drink problem, an example of Pathos is when Iago talks to
Brabantio about Othello and Desdemona's marriage, and an example of
Logos is when Bianca is seen with the handkerchief by Othello. All of
this clever and sly manipulation leads to the downfall of several
characters, and the imprisonment of himself, (which was unplanned).

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