How Far Do You Agree with the View That the Contrast Between Iago and Othello Is the Most Important Contrast in the Play?

Topics: Othello, Iago, Michael Cassio Pages: 2 (715 words) Published: January 30, 2013
How far do you agree with the view that the contrast between Iago and Othello is the most important contrast in the play? In the play Othello, there are many forms of contrast, one of which is the contrast between the characters of Othello and Iago, which could be argued as being the most important contrast in the play. In this essay I am going to discuss various contrasts between these two characters as well as others which are shown in the play. An example of contrast between Othello and Iago is the contrast between manipulated and the manipulator. Iago lures Othello into a false sense of security by using language such as “my lord” when talking to him and keeps all his true intentions hidden so Othello believes that he is an honest man. He manages to manipulate Othello easily by playing on his weaknesses which are his love for Desdemona and his jealousy. Iago who is both clever and charismatic, plants ideas into Othello’s head, such Desdemona having an affair with Cassio, and allows him to draw his own conclusions by seeing what he want to see. He rarely explicitly states that Cassio and Desdemona are having an affair, but instead uses Othello’s belief that he is an “honest” man and implies other people’s guilt as a way of convincing the gullible Othello. Another form of contrast is the play is the contrast between Venice and Cyprus, which is closely linked with the contrast between Othello and Iago. There is a large contrast between Othello’s behaviour in the ordered world of Venice compared to the chaotic one of Cyprus. In Venice Othello was perceived as a noble, respected military general that was highly regarded by many. However in Cyprus he behaves very differently, even striking Desdemona at one point. Lodovicos’s response to this was one of horror which we can see when the exclaimed, “My Lord! – This would not be believed in Venice, though I should swear I saw’t.” Which shows how shocked he was with Othello’s actions and how that they appear to be...
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