Roderigo: Shakespeare's Tool To Advance Iago's Dastardly Plot Essay

Roderigo: Shakespeare's Tool To Advance Iago's Dastardly Plot Essay

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Roderigo as a character is little more than a tool, created by Shakespeare to advance Iago’s dastardly plot. It is made apparent that his one true goal is simply the object of his desires, Desdemona; his obvious and overpowering love for her tragically leads to his pitiful end. He becomes a puppet to Iago, enslaving himself to the villain’s schemes in pursuit of Desdemona’s acknowledgement and affections. However, what if his willingness to become part of Iago’s plan may not be indicative of a powerful love, but of a lazy infatuation? What if the fact that he is entirely willing to listen to what somebody else says shows a disinterest in trying for himself? Roderigo shows that he is incapable of wooing her himself, perhaps not because he is undesirable, but because he simply doesn’t try as hard as Othello. Roderigo’s enthusiasm to find a safe “instruction manual” into getting Desdemona to love him is clearly indicative of no true dedication.
Roderigo is introduced to the reader exactly as what he is: a patsy. During his entire introductory scene, surprisingly the first of the play, Roderigo takes a blatant backseat to the vastly more intelligent and nefarious Iago. In fact, in his very first line, which is also, interestingly, the first line of the play, Roderigo says “I take it much unkindly/that thou, Iago, who hast hast had my purse/As if the strings were thine, shouldst know of this” (I.i.1-3). This sentence is already showing Roderigo’s half-hearted enthusiasm in the face of Iago’s absolute control, and it doesn’t show much in the way of dedication to a goal. In fact, most readers believe that Roderigo is simply a means by which Iago can exact his plans, a puppet of a much greater mind, and the sad thing is that t...

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...e lacks in virtue or influence he makes up in relevance and metaphor.
The true mystery of Roderigo is rarely ever analyzed by the casual reader, he is simply looked over. He is seen as lovesick, a puppy who tragically listens to the first man offering him his greatest dream. But his willingness to leave his success with his supposed greatest love to another man shows not an act of desperation, but of indifference. He didn’t go to Iago as a last resort, he went as a way to pass the effort off to someone else. Roderigo never shows the initiative to ever talk to Desdemona, he never appears to really even try to do anything in the pursuit of Desdemona… except listen to Iago. His brief moment of rebellion was brought more about what Iago was having him do rather than anything involving Desdemona, and he seems to walk like a lamb to the slaughter that Iago had set.

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