Honest Iago: the Master of Deception (an Othello Essay)

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Honest Iago: the Master of Deception

Timothy Doan
Ms. Waddell
October 26, 2011

There exists two vital tools needed for complete manipulation: a charming personality and a sharp sense of persuasion. The combination of both these attributes will grant any individual with the rare gift to have anybody under their complete supremacy. In Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello, Iago is able to hone and master the immortal technique of manipulation as he pursues his ultimate mission to take vengeance on Othello. In order to wreak full revenge on his nemesis, Iago constructs certain scenarios in order to cause the Moor total distraught. To do this, Iago uses other characters’ situations and desires to benefit his own diabolical plan, such as Roderigo’s love for Desdemona, Cassio’s broken relationship with Othello and lastly the Moor’s contradicting emotions towards his peers. As a result, the audience will be able to notice Iago’s power over his servants grow and develop to its true potential as he uses them as instruments for his master scheme. One of the starting blocks for Iago’s scheme is Roderigo’s deal with Iago, where Roderigo pays Iago money in exchange for Desdemona’s affection. As the play progresses, Roderigo is constantly growing suspicious about Iago’s true intentions, but each time Iago is able to thoroughly convince Roderigo that their grand objective will take some time to come to full fruition: “Though other things grow fair against the sun / Yet fruits that blossom first will first be ripe” (II.III.353-354), which displays Iago’s newfound control over his loyal servant. From this, Iago not only gains Roderigo’s payment but also his constantly increasing loyalty, which will become vital in his plot. Another good example of Iago’s authority is when he is able to persuade Roderigo to attack Cassio by informing him it is the only way Desdemona will remain in Cyprus. This skirmish demonstrates Iago’s...
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