Pretending by Queen Elizabeth and Othello’s Iago

Pretending by Queen Elizabeth and Othello’s Iago

Length: 1814 words (5.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Pretending by Queen Elizabeth and Othello’s Iago


In today's society, nothing is really what it seems.  Those great "free-bees" you win are never really free and no deal is really as good as it sounds.  Even people don't seem to be stable anymore because they are always changing to fit the current trend or to blend in with the newest "crowd".  They live their lives covered with a mask and they forget or don't want to be what is most important, themselves, and this is what is called pretending.  The idea of "pretending" is when someone "seems" or acts to be something they are not.  Although we see this happening a lot today, the act of pretending goes back much further.  The act of "pretending" has been used in a lot of early British literature, and it is here that we can see that it can be used for both good and evil purposes.  A good example of each of these is found in Elizabeth's life and writings, and Shakespeare's play, Othello, in the character of Iago.     

            Although it is not that common, the act of pretending can be used in a good way.  This is seen in Queen Elizabeth.  Elizabeth Tudor came to the throne of England in 1558.  During this time, there was a great amount of religious upheaval because England was going through periods of Catholic and Protestant rule.  Elizabeth, being a woman on the throne, had to demonstrate to her people that she was fit to rule the country and would do everything for their best interest.  In order to do this, Elizabeth had to seem to be something she was not.  The Longman Anthology of British Literature states, "throughout her long reign she cultivated two personas . . . As a monarch, she could speak courageously...; as a woman, she could convey understanding..." (475).  In this respect, Elizabeth had to be strong and use her "pretending" for the good of the people, while not showing too much emotion.

            During her time as queen, Elizabeth addressed parliament both on the subjects of marriage and on her loyalty to her country.  Perhaps she did this because she was questioned about leaving an heir to the throne.  To answer this Elizabeth wrote,

And albeit it might please Almighty God to continue me still in this mind to live out of the state of marriage.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Pretending by Queen Elizabeth and Othello’s Iago." 123HelpMe.com. 31 Mar 2020
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=12060>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Iago And Antihero In Othello Essay

- Lago in my opinion is a standout amongst the most scandalous, devious, villain, I have came across. The way he undermines Othello and Desdemona's marriage is an indication of a genuine lowlife, Lago, a wicked individual unfit to locate the sort of adoration or love Othello and Desdemona had, due to this antihero's demeanor. Iago had an important position in Othello's army and he was extremely trusted by Othello. This made it simple for Iago to control Othello. The way that Othello was deceived was done in an exceptionally tricky way most wouldn't catch....   [tags: Othello, Iago, Jealousy, Desdemona]

Research Papers
989 words (2.8 pages)

Essay Deceitfulness Of Iago In Othello

- (I,iii,395), and cause mistrust and grief for Othello and Desdemona, eventually causing a rift in their relationship (I,iii,339). Despite Iago’s ideal encapsulation of the “villain” persona, in which his nature is one of very untrustworthy and extremely manipulative, he manages to control his emotions and jealousy to a great degree. Even to such an extent that Othello calls him nicknames like “Honest Iago” and “Fair Iago”. Due to the secretive nature Iago possesses, his moves are precise and calculated which leads to unexpected and very harsh attacks....   [tags: Iago, Othello, William Shakespeare]

Research Papers
977 words (2.8 pages)

What Is Iago In Othello Essay

- In the play Othello by William Shakespeare Iago is the one seen as the puppet master, the orchestrator, which is mostly true. Although Iago does essentially get the ball rolling, Othello and Desdemona aren’t exactly innocent either. Both of them are prime examples of just how easily the human psyche/mind can be manipulated to hating, betraying, and even killing the people they love (Othello mainly). Other characters, like Roderigo, Cassio, and Emilia, are also blameworthy. They didn’t try to stop Iago, or refrain from their relationship with Desdemona (Cassio), they were so easily manipulated that it’s hard not to see their fault in the events that transpired....   [tags: Othello, Iago, Desdemona, Brabantio]

Research Papers
979 words (2.8 pages)

Iago Involvement In Othello Essay

- Lago has to be hands down one of the most infamous of villains I have come across to date. The way he undermines Othello and Desdemona’s marriage is a sign of a true villain Iago, a devious person unable to find the kind of love Othello and Desdemona had due to this antihero's demeanor. Iago had a special position in Othello’s army and he was very trusted by Othello. This made it very easy for Iago to manipulate Othello. The manner that Othello was tricked was done in a very well planned almost fool proof manner....   [tags: Othello, Iago, Desdemona, Jealousy]

Research Papers
990 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on Othello And Iago By William Shakespeare

- Conflict is a negative effect that arises when people fail to communicate. It exists in workplaces, homes, and in many places where no interaction exist amid people of different background. In Shakespeare’s Othello, many conflicts and opposition happen among close friends and enemies which shapes the plot. This results from differences in culture and races of the characters within the play. The main conflicts in the play depicts between Othello and Iago and illustrates in various ways. A character such as Iago depends on double meanings, miscommunications, and indirect meanings to show the nature of conflict....   [tags: Othello, Iago, Michael Cassio, Emilia]

Research Papers
1615 words (4.6 pages)

Essay Othello, Cassio, and Iago

- Seeing is Believing Proof is something that all human beings seek. Without proving something in order for it to be valid we would have nothing to tell us when something is false. Everyday people use proof as a part of reason; it has been used to turn a hypothesis into a theory, a rumor into fact, without proof we would have nothing. There are many different ways to prove something, some more affective than others; having a person simply tell you something is true or false does not always do the job, but in simplistic matters it may be all they have to work with....   [tags: Othello, Cassio, Iago]

Research Papers
1891 words (5.4 pages)

Essay On Iago In Othello

- Beginning with the lowest rank of women, Emilia and Desdemona, Iago insults them with misogynistic and commanding comments to reveal the stark dichotomy of power between men and women in Shakespearian times. Targeting pathos, Iago uses controlling and degrading remarks to put Emilia down and to gain spousal dominance. In two scenes where Emilia expresses her true feelings, Iago snaps at her by first stating, “You are a fool, go to”, and then later orders, “Go to, charm your tongue” (4.2. 147, 5.2....   [tags: Iago, Othello, Michael Cassio, Brabantio]

Research Papers
1696 words (4.8 pages)

Essay on Iago Logos In Othello

- Othello by William Shakespeare was given the wrong name; this play is about Iago and the many tricks he uses to get his revenge. Othello is a powerful and important man, but Iago, Iago is one of a kind. He is a manipulative character that ruins the lives of people close to him, people who trust him. The lives of important key roles are ruined because of the hatred and jealousy Iago has for Othello. How does Iago manage to manipulate so many people in Othello. While successfully controlling the lives of everyone Iago manages to use ethos, logos, and pathos to get his revenge....   [tags: Othello, Iago, William Shakespeare, Ethos]

Research Papers
924 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on Iago Of Othello

- Iago of "Othello" What makes a good villain. What qualities make one villain stand out from another. Is it their demeanor, ruthlessness, or the methods that they employ to accomplish their tasks. In any case, a great villain must leave the reader with a respect for their methods and a question about their motives. In Shakespeare's Othello, there is one character in Iago that fulfills all of these qualifications. Iago is a wonderful villain because he gains other's trust, relentlessly takes advantage of his peers' flaws, and unapologetically causes the deaths of his counterparts in order to achieve his goals....   [tags: Character Analysis Othello Iago Shakespeare]

Research Papers
701 words (2 pages)

Iago in William Shakespeare's Othello Essay

- Iago in William Shakespeare's Othello William Shakespeare, born: 1564 died: 1616, is considered one of the greatest writers who has ever lived. He had a unique way of putting things into words. All of his plays, sonnets, and poems have gotten great recognition. But when Shakespeare wrote Othello he created one of the most controversial villains of all times; Iago. He is best described as disturbing, ruthless, and amoral. No other character can even come close to his evil (Iago: The 1). Iago, in the play Othello, is a very intriguing villain....   [tags: William shakespeare Othello Iago Essays]

Research Papers
1219 words (3.5 pages)

Related Searches

.. whereby the realm shall not remain destitute of an heir that may be a fit governor..."   "And in the end, this shall be for me sufficient, that a marble stone shall declare that a Queen, having reigned such a time, lived and died a virgin. (478)

Here Elizabeth is reassuring her people that there will be an heir to the throne and that they should not worry.  She has dedicated herself to the good of the people and she won't let any emotions (such as a man) stand in her way of that.  This is why she takes on the appearance or seems to be that of a virgin.  Elizabeth signifies that she is married to England and all of her loyalties lie there.

            Later in her Golden Speech, Elizabeth once again conveys the idea that her sole purpose is to serve and protect her people. 

For myself, I was never so much enticed with the glorious name of a king or royal authority of a queen, as delighted that God hath made me His instrument to maintain His truth and glory, and to defend this kingdom (as said I) from peril, dishonor, tyranny and oppression. (485)

Elizabeth doesn't even recognize herself as a person who holds the title of King or Queen, but rather must "seem" to be something else.  She is instead God's instrument with which to work for the good of the people.  When Elizabeth took on the two personas, so was able to use "pretending" in a positive way.  And even though this may have been a hard thing to do, Elizabeth used it successfully and held a long and prosperous reign until her death in 1603.

Just as the act of pretending can be used in a good way, it can also be used in a bad way.  An example of this is the character of Iago in Shakespeare's Othello.  Othello was written in 1604, right after the death of Queen Elizabeth.  This was a time of civil unrest and war.  Here we see the rise of the Machiavellian characters, like Iago.  Machiavelli wrote the Prince, which told of manipulation and encouraged kings to rule their subjects with tyranny and terror.  The character of Iago seemed to be fashioned after this Machiavellian idea in the role he plays in Othello (557). 

From the very beginning, Iago wants to get revenge on his master Othello.  He is upset that being in the long service of Othello, his position or the position he was supposed to receive, is given away to Michael Cassio.  So the first plan of action Iago derives is to get rid of Cassio, or at least drop him from the favor of Othello.  This occurs when Cassio is persuaded to drink by Iago and ends up in a provoked drunken fight.  Othello hears the commotion and asks Iago what has happened.  Iago replies, "I had rather have this tongue cut from my mouth than it should do offense to Michael Cassio..." (act.scene.line).  Here Iago "happens" to give Cassio's name so that he is dismissed by Othello.  Even though this happens to Cassio, he still believes that Iago is his friend.  Later Cassio says, "I never knew A Florentine more kind and honest" (lines).  Cassio has fallen for Iago's trap and has no idea that Iago seems to be his friend even though he really wants to get rid of him.

The second plan of action by Iago is to hurt Othello by taking away his true love.  After much persuasion, Iago is able to convince Othello that Cassio and Desdemona (Othello's wife) are having an affair.   Othello trusts Iago completely since he had been loyal and in his service for so long.  "'Tis he. O brave Iago, honest and just, Thou has such noble sense of thy friend's wrong!" (  ).  Here Othello is referring to Iago's "supposed" knowledge of Desdemona's affair.  Iago is using Othello's trust in him so that he can seem like an honest source of information and damage Othello's perfect picture of the wife he loves.

  At the same time that he is doing this, however, Iago is also playing the side of Desdomona and comforting her.  She also puts her trust in Iago and asks him, "What shall I do to win my lord again? Good friend, go to him..." ( ).  Desdomona is depending on Iago to find out what is wrong and to make things right between her and Othello.  Iago now has both Othello and Desdomona in his trap and he knows it.  "Work on, My medicine, work! Thus credulous fools are caught and many worthy and chaste dames even thus, All guiltless, meet reproach" ( ).  Iago realizes his plan for revenge has almost succeeded.  He has seemed to be something he is not and has thus caught the guiltless Desdemona in his trap while also stirring Othello's jealousy. 

The last person that falls into Iago's trap of "pretending" is Roderigo.  From the beginning, Roderigo helps Iago in his plans to get rid of Cassio and hurt Othello.  He does all of this believing that Iago is going to help him win Desdemona, who he is madly in love with.  However, Roderigo does not realize that Iago is pretending to help him while all along he is just playing him as a pawn in his scheme.  Towards the end, Roderigo comes to Iago because he figures out that he really isn't helping him to win over Desdomona.  But since Iago has already convinced Roderigo thus far, he is able to do it again.  "Give me thy hand, Roderigo. Thou hast taken against me a most just exception; but yet I protest I have dealt most directly in thy affair" (  ).  Iago is reassuring Roderigo that his intentions to help him get Desdemona are still there.  Roderigo believes him, but this time it ends in his demise because the last favor Iago asks him to do ends up in his death.  

            Throughout this whole ordeal, it is amazing that no one realizes that Iago seems to be good and honest when really he is not.  In a conversation with Othello, Iago makes the comment,  "Men should be what they seem; Or those that be not, would they might seem none!" (   ).  Iago is saying that anyone who is not what they seem is not really an honest person.  It is interesting that he should make such a comment, all things considered.  In the end, both Othello and Desdemona die.  Desdemona dies by the jealous hands of Othello and Othello dies by his own.  Although, Iago gets what he wanted, he is discovered and is left to be dealt with by Cassio. In the end, Iago's pretending only causes pain and suffering to all those around him, and gains himself nothing.

            Just like Iago and Elizabeth used "pretending" in their lives to help them get control, so do lots of other people today, whether they realize it or not.  Society has put such a huge pressure on people to act or look like everyone else, that no one is free to be themselves.  Everyone feels that they must act or "seem" a certain way in order to fit in.  This can be seen a lot of times during the teenage years in young adults.  They encounter tons of peer pressure everyday to become a certain image.  This can have very negative effects and sometimes they can get caught up in manipulating people just like Iago did.  On the other hand, political figures in our country are faced with being a certain image for the people as well.  Some of them must adopt the "two personas" like Elizabeth did in order to run the country with order.  However, a lot of them choose to go the negative way and use the Machiavellian like character (Iago) instead to get them where they need to be. 

In all of my experiences, I have found "pretending" to be only a negative thing.  People like Iago, only use pretending to manipulate the people around them, and the people who try to use pretending to fit in or to gain friends, only find themselves being unhappy.  Elizabeth was very strong to be able to set aside her emotions and rule England the way she did, and I am sure that she was not at all very happy.  I know I wouldn't have been.  No matter how we wish it were not so, however, pretending is a less that perfect human quality, and it will be there no matter where we go. 
Return to 123HelpMe.com