How Does Iago Manage to Corrupt Othello

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Othello is one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies, involving the manipulating Iago and the virtuous Desdemona. Iago , who is a central figure in this play, uses different techniques to corrupt the protagonist of the play , Othello. While it is clear that Iago corrupts Othello’s virtue and says that he will ‘turn the virtue into pitch and out of her goodness make the net that that will enmesh them all.’ the matter of Othello and Iago, it cannot fairly be maintained that Iago was the sole cause of the calamities that befell Othello. In general it must be said that there is no Shakespearean tragedy in which the responsibility for the deed of the hero and the subsequent tragedy can be shifted from him to another person of the play The first technique that Iago uses to corrupt Othello is by manipulating Othello’s virtue. The characters in Othello are extremely credulous , other than Iago who even though he is given the epithet ‘ Honest Iago’ is far from honest. This relates back to the idea of a tragic hero. Aristotle believed that a tragedy is a story that inspires pity and fortune. The tragic hero much not be perfect or vicious , but ‘the man in between these extremes’. In Shakespeare’s tragedies there is a characteristic in each hero that precipitates his disaster- something the hero cannot control, so that the steps toward tragedy seem inevitable in his character. In Othello, it is made evident that Othello’s susceptibility to suggestion and his strong trust in people that are his tragic weaknesses. His credulousness is an unfortunate side effect ; even Iago remarks that Othello is ‘easily led by the nose.’ Othello’s credulousness is also a quality of trust in other people ; Iago manipulated his good characteristic by taking advantage of it and making it negative. Othello is not used to deceit ; he is incredibly receptive to everything Iago tells him. He trusts him so much this his character slowly begins to change and he ‘forgets’ his love for Desdemona....
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