Iago as an Evil Manipulator in William Shakespeare's Othello Essay

Iago as an Evil Manipulator in William Shakespeare's Othello Essay

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Iago as an Evil Manipulator in William Shakespeare's Othello

The statement 'Iago is an evil manipulator in my opinion is true. I
see Iago as psychologically astute, deceiving and a misanthrope. His
sadistic character hurts everyone in a web of deceit. Iago is
Shakespeare's most plausible and intriguing villains.

The main themes in this play are appearance and reality, love, hate
and jealousy.

I intend to focus on Iago and see how his character changes and how
his plan unfolds in scenes Act 1 scene 3, act 2 scene 3 and act 3
scenes 3 and 4.

At the end of Act 1 scene 3, we are aware of Iago's jealousy of
Othello and he reveals his scheme to destroy him as his envious ways
lead him to manipulation. 'I hate the moor, and it is thought abroad
that 'twixt my sheets he's done in my office. I know not if't be true
yet I, for mere suspicion in that kind, will do as if for surety.'
(Lines 69-72)

'After some time, to abuse Othello's ear that he is too familiar with
his wife…' (Lines 77-78)

This is all shown in a soliloquy. The use of soliloquies gives the
audience a chance to see what a character is really thinking. They
reveal the character's thoughts, motives or state of mind at that
point in the play. Shakespeare uses this dramatic convention to create
dramatic irony. As the audience knows what is going to happen, it
makes them feel uncomfortable.

In Act 2 scene 3, Iago then plans to make Cassio drunk and
quarrelsome. 'If I can fasten but one cup upon him, with that he hath
drunk tonight already, he'll be as full of quarrel and offence as my
young mistress' dog.' (Lines 40-44)

Iago then tells Roderigo to go aft...


... middle of paper ...


...her, damn her!' (Line 476)

From line 443 Othello is gullible enough to accept that his wife is
having an affair when Iago lies about Cassio having Desdemona's
handkerchief.

'…Now art thou my lieutenant' (Line 479)

Othello has now given Iago the job he wanted. Although Iago was
getting back at both Othello and Cassio because he didn't get the job
of lieutenant; he has the job now and yet Iago still seems to torture
Othello. He is has a very sadistic attitude.

He tortures Othello mentally by slyly making comments and suggestions
but snatching his comments back, to make Othello more curious.

'Ha! I like not that.'

'What dost thou say?'

'Nothing, my lord; or if - I know not what.' (Lines 34-36)

Othello's language is emotive and descriptive and sometimes bombastic.
He speaks calm and confident.

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