Archetypes Term Paper

Topics: Othello, Iago, William Shakespeare Pages: 8 (3141 words) Published: May 28, 2012
 Archetypes are constant throughout all times and cultures. You find them in all of the most satisfying literature. An understanding of these forces is one of the most powerful elements in the storyteller’s toolbox. When you grasp the function of the archetype a character expresses, you will know his or her purpose in the story. The trickster embodies the use of mischief and the desire for change. “He/she cuts big egos down to size and brings heroes and readers down to earth” Vogler says. A trickster brings change by drawing attention to the imbalance or absurdity of a stagnant situation and often provokes laughter.

In Shakespeare’s play, Othello, one of the earliest scenes where we see Iago’s power of being a trickster is when Iago is talking to Roderigo. Roderigo told Iago that he is going to drown himself because Roderigo cannot have Desdemona and Desdemona does not love him back. Iago tells Roderigo: She must change for youth. When she is sated with his body she will find the error of her choice. Therefore, put money in thy purse. If thou wilt needs damn thyself, do it a more delicate way than drowning. Make all the money thou canst If sanctimony and a frail vow betwixt an earring barbarian and a super subtle Venetian be not too hard for my wits and all the tribe of hell, thou shalt enjoy her. Therefore make money. (1.3, 393- 401) Iago uses his power of manipulations on Roderigo. Iago manipulates Roderigo into thinking that he has a chance to be with Desdemona. Iago makes Roderigo believe that Desdemona will get tired of Othello and that she will leave Othello and be with him. Iago keeps telling Roderigo to fill his purse with money over and over again. Iago keeps telling Roderigo this because when Desdemona leaves Othello he will need all of his money in order to win Desdemona over. But in actuality Iago wants Roderigo to fill money in thy purse because Iago wants to have all the money for himself. Eventually in the play Othello, Iago loses his power of manipulation over everyone. Iago loses his power of manipulation in the end of the play. The truth comes out and Othello knows everything about Iago’s plan.

Iago was never Othello’s friend and Iago made Othello kill his one and only love, Desdemona. In Martti Juhani Rudanko’s book Pragmatic Approaches to Shakespeare, there is one chapter that talks about how Iago manipulates people, how he started manipulating people, and how it ended. In Chapter III of this book, “Dominance, Topics, and Iago,” the author said: Having been unmasked, Iago can no longer dominate conversations by introducing, managing and closing down topics. Nor can he influence Othello any more: the latter undertakes the action of committing suicide without any prompting whatsoever from Iago. Even so, there is still something left for Iago: he can refuse to submit to being controlled by others. Others cannot dictate topics to him and except his cooperation. Hence the irreducible and ineluctable logic of his emphatic final line “From this forth I never will speak word.” (54) The author tells us that because Iago has been unmasked, Iago can no longer manipulate Othello. Othello has discovered Iago’s plan and was furious at Iago. Iago cannot talk his way out of this conversation or dominate this conversation. He could not even change topics. All the power that Iago had before was gone. Othello wanted to kill Iago because he made him kill Desdemona. Othello was free from Iago’s control because the truth was out in the open. Othello did not believe Iago was honest anymore and that is why Iago could not dominate him. Othello committed suicide because of the pain that he was in, seeing his wife dead. In the end Iago refused controlled by anyone so Iago promised to never speak a word from now on.

Iago is a dishonest person, is not liked by anyone in the end of the paly and we know every part of Iago’s plan for...
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