Iago Manipulates Othello, Cassio and Roderigo

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Iago Manipulates Othello, Cassio and Roderigo

By | December 2012
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Othello, Roderigo and Cassio Effectively Manipulated by Iago

"Keep your friends close and your enemies closer" is a quote that very well describes how two-face Iago really is. In William Shakespeare's play, Othello, Iago's hatred toward the Moor, Othello, leads him to devise a plan against him. As a result, Othello goes from truly loving his wife to hating her with a passion. Othello's hatred and anger proves fatal for Desdemona, Emilia, Roderigo, and Othello, himself. Iago effectively manipulates Othello, Roderigo, and Cassio by; presenting himself as an honest individual to Othello, lying to Roderigo about getting him married to Desdemona and helping Cassio with his problem to obtain the lieutenant position from him.

Iago's manipulation was proved effective when Othello grew hatred towards Desdemona and decided to kill her. For example, "If thou dost slander her and torture me, Never pray more; abandon all remorse; on horror's head accumulate...Greater than that"(III, iii, 368-373), is what Othello says when he begins to doubt his wife Desdemona. Othello uses this hyperbole to describe his anger at the possibility of Iago lying about his wife being disloyal. Othello declares that the Earth will be confused with horror at Othello's actions in such state of madness. Regardless of the fact that Othello gets mad about what Iago tells him, in his mind he doubts Desdemona and that is confirmed when he asks Iago for proof. Othello later says "O, that slave had forty thousand lives! One is too poor, too weak for my revenge"(III, iii, 442-443). Again, Othello uses a hyperbole by referring to Cassio as a slave and saying he has forty thousand lives. As jealously strikes Othello, he trusts Iago a lot and plans to kill Desdemona. Iago poisoned Othello's mind into thinking that Desdemona betrayed him and Othello starts to hate everyone. As Professor Andrew Bradley writes, "Evil has nowhere else been portrayed with such mastery as in the character of Iago"....
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