Revenge is the main theme in the play Othello by William Shakespeare and it is portrayed from the character Iago. Through Iago’s soliloquies he reveals his horrible doings. Iago wants to get revenge on Othello and his loved one Desdemona. The reason why he wants to get revenge at Othello is because he promotes Cassio to Lieutenant. Iago takes advantage of his reputation “Honesty Iago” to manipulate other characters in the play to get revenge from Othello. Iago is aware that he can easily manipulate the people around him to get revenge from Othello that he does not stop and think about the harm he is causing. Iago is a brilliant character that he successfully manipulates Cassio, Desdemona, Roderigo and his own wife Emilia to fulfill his revenge against Othello.
Iago’s manipulation of people and events leads the play into a tragedy. I disagree with Jem Bloomfield when he says, “Iago doesn’t have a motivation, and doesn’t need one” Iago makes it seem like he is getting revenge for no apparent reason but he does have a reason. For example when Othello gives the lieutenant position to Cassio, Iago is upset because he thought he would get the position so he plans to get revenge at him. Iago says, “One Michael Cassio, a Florentine, A fellow almost dammn’d in a fair wife: That never set a squadron in the field, Nor the division of a battle knows more than a spinster” (1.1.2) Iago is jealous and believes that Cassio should have never got the position because he has never been on the field like he has been. Iago says, “I hate the Moor: And it is thought abroad, that ‘twixt my sheets He has done my office: I know not if’t be true; But I. for mere suspicion in that kind, Will do as if for surety” (1.3.12). The quote is the start of Iago’s planning for revenge to Othello and hatred towards him. Iago also uses Desdemona and Cassio to manipulate Othello to think that his wife is not being loyal to him. Clever Iago is able to have a conversation with Cassio so that Othello can listen to them speak about his wife, but they are really talking about when Cassio slept with Bianca. Iago uses Desdemona’s friendliness for his own evil plan. Iago starts talking to himself saying, “I will turn her virtue into pitch” (2.3.338). This quotes means that he will do anything to get revenge on Othello. He is sure that after Cassio got into a fight and Othello took away his position as lieutenant, that Cassio will talk to Desdemona and try getting her to talk to Othello about getting his position back. Since Desdemona would talk a lot about Cassio being a good man and that he should give him the position back, Iago planted in his head that Desdemona was cheating on him with Cassio. When Othello has found out that Cassio has the handkerchief, He goes to Desdemona and says, “Lend me thy handkerchief” (4.3).Desdemona tries to change the subject and starts talking about Cassio getting back his position which makes Othello think even more that she has been with him in his bed. At this point Iago has really implanted the thought of his wife cheating on him. According to Bloomfield, “Iago is the master of manipulation”. I agree with Bloomfield because Iago know how to manipulate every person in the play without any of the characters noticing of the evil things he is up to. I also believe that Iago got lucky with everything he planned because at any point something could have gone wrong, but everything went well. Emilia is told by his husband to get the Handkerchief from Desdemona that Othello gave to her symbolizing there love. She isn’t sure why he wants it but she is willing to take it because she will do anything for her husband, for him to pay attention to her. Emilia says, “She let it drop by negligence And, to the advantage, I, being here, took’t up. Look, here it is” (3.3.312). Instead of Emilia giving back the Handkerchief to Desdemona when she dropped it she kept it to give to Iago. Emilia was responsible for Desdemona’s death because she didn’t give...
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