Iago Literary Essay

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Iago the Master of Manipulation

Throughout the play Othello by William Shakespeare, Iago the antagonist develops a scheme to ruin Othello’s life, just because he didn’t get the position of lieutenant and uses people from Roderigo to Cassio to unfold his plans. Now, how can this villainous man manipulate people around him so well? Iago effectively manipulates Roderigo, Cassio and Othello by using Roderigo’s love for Desdemona, by implying to Cassio that he’s helping him for his interests when it’s actually the opposite, and by acting as an “honest” person in front of Othello to hide his true foul personality. (SparkNoted Editors).

Iago uses Roderigo’s “obsessive” love for Desdemona to manipulate him to help him and assures Roderigo he will help him attain Desdemona. (The Polymath). He then tries to comfort Roderigo when he finds out Desdemona is married to Othello by using the metaphor, “Our bodies are our gardens, to the which our wills are gardeners.” (I.iii.319-320). Here Iago reacts to Roderigo wanting to commit suicide by telling him to take care of himself, and instead to try to win Desdemona with his money; but actually uses his money for his own plans and makes fun of him for being so naïve. “Thus do I make my fool my purse.” (I.iii.315) and all this time poor Roderigo has been tricked by Iago from the beginning of the play to the end because Roderigo wanted Desdemona to such an extent.

Iago tricked Cassio into thinking he was helping him for his benefit when all along it was only a part of Iago’s plan to ruin the bond between Othello and Desdemona. Iago himself caused trouble for Cassio and that leads to Cassio’s lieutenant position revoked, only to tell him to get help from Desdemona. “Our Generals wife is now the General/Confess yourself freely to her. Importune her help to put you in your place again.” (II.iii.293-298). Iago has many Aside’s in the play telling the audience of his plans. By making Cassio talk with Desdemona Iago plants...
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